Paintsil: Akonnor could have qualified Ghana for 2022 World Cup



The ex-Leicester City man shares his thoughts on the ability of Ghanaian coaches following recent bad spells with the Black Stars

Former Ghana right-back John Paintsil believes immediate-past Black Stars coach CK Akonnor was on course to steer the team to the 2022 World Cup despite a topsy-turvy qualifying start which led to his sack.

Akonnor was dismissed from his post earlier this month following a 1-0 away defeat to South Africa, three days after his team struggled to register a 1-0 home win over Ethiopia in their first game on the road to Qatar.

The results left the Black Stars second on the table in Group G ahead of consecutive matches against Zimbabwe next month.

“They [local coaches] stand a big chance and they have a bigger page to tell because most of the coaches are doing well,” Paintsil, now a coach, told Joy Sports as he highlighted the capability of indigenous coaches.

“For instance, the World Cup qualifiers, CK Akonnor would have qualified anyway, but when the decision [came that he be sacked], there is nothing that you could do. We should not underrate the local coaches, we should give opportunities and chances.

“Odartey Lamptey has been here for a while and then, Didi Dramani who is also working outside in and out. We have Laryea Kingston coming, Godwin Attram is also in.

“Awudu Issaka is also working so hard, and we still have our former national team coach Kwasi Appiah also around. We have many of these local coaches who are doing well. And don’t forget that these coaches are holding License A.

“We have more than 150 coaches holding Caf license A in Ghana here and they need the opportunity to do well. But if you don’t give them the chance to do well, then there is nothing that we can do.”

Akonnor’s Black Stars job has since been handed to Serbian tactician Milovan Rajevac, who led the team to the 2010 World Cup where they reached the quarter-final.

Akonnor took up the coaching job in January last year, replacing James Kwasi Appiah, whose contract was not renewed after Ghana’s underwhelming performance at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

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