Ghanaian veteran football administrator Takyi Arhin has revealed what he opines to be the actually reasons behind Ghana’s poor performance at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt which has seen their early exit at the round of 16 stage against the Cartage Eagles, telling leaders of the team and government officials to blame themselves.
Takyi Arhin believes that failure was clearly written on the wall for the Black Stars before the start of the tournament as Ghana’s journey to Egypt was shrouded by “comedy of errors and so much I do about nothing”.
Just weeks to Ghana’s pre-tournament three weeks camping in Dubai, Black Stars coach James Kwasi Appiah decided to take the captaincy from Ghana’s longest serving Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan and replaced him with then vice-captain Andre Ayew as the substantive captain to be deputized by Inter Milan star Kwadwo Asamoah. Gyan, deeply hurt by the coach’s decision, indignantly announced his retirement from the national team, citing the untimely change as a reason, saying “I can’t pretend to be happy”. Gyan however rescinded his decision and was called up for the tournament later on in Egypt following a dialogue with Ghana’s President Nana Akuffo-Addo which sought to intervene and settle the matter.
Takyi Arhin who has been a firm critique of the timing of Appiah’s decision, have listed this incident as part of the reasons for Ghana’s failure at the AFCON.
“Our journey to Egypt there were a whole lot of comedies, comedy of errors and much I do about nothing”, Takyi Arhin stated, speaking to on Focal Sports. “Let’s see the way and manner our captain’s armband issues came, the so-called false prophets of which [Rev.] Owusu Bempah is the head said oh once [President] Nana Addo is on the seat we are going to win the trophy; Asamoah Gyan is a bad luck so take the captain’s armband from him to Dede, as for Dede (Andre Ayew) he’s gone to Egypt to wins a Cup before (referring to FIFA U-20 World cup in 2009)”, Arhin outlined.
According to Arhin who is mostly known for fearlessly expressing his opinions, maintained he is not really against a change of captaincy but believes the timing was wrong and moreover, the decision was orchestrated by government officials (politicians) who “have taken over our football”.
“The timing and everything was wrong, look at the number of people who went to Dubai (during Black Stars pre-tournament camping), politicians have taken over our football, for the first in the history of Ghana football, we woke up only to see a politicians who are the management committee of the Black Stars”, he stated.
“K.K Sarpong everyone knows he’s the CEO for GNPC (Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) while GNPC sponsors the Black Stars, so if you say the CEO who will disburse the money (to the Black Stars) should as well go to be the management committee chairman who is going off the shores, master does it make sense, is it not conflict of interest”?, he questioned.
Finally, Arhin found another cause of Ghana’s failure at the AFCON which has to do with the number of persons who were airlifted to Egypt for draw which obviously and inexplicably exceeded the officially required three persons required by CAF.
“When we were going for just a simple draw in Egypt, master what happened, about more than 20 people went because we are not thinking outside the box, meanwhile only three people have (legitimate) access to the room (for the draw), so are we protecting the public purse”?, Arhin enquired.
The Black Stars were knocked out of the Cup of Nations at the round of 16 stage on Monday after losing 5-4 to the Cartage Eagle of Tunisia after drawing 1-1 after extra time, and Ghana, since winning their fourth AFCON trophy in 1982 (37 years ago), will still have to wait for the next edition in 2021 to decide their fate.