26
Aug
08

Way to Go ‘Oliver Akwasi Twist’


I like it when people stand up for their rights and refuse to be maltreated. This is why the world has survived till this day. It strikes me as odd how Ghana deputy coach Akwasi Appiah always gets involved in controversy when he gets near Black Stars. As a player, Akwasi Appiah captained the Black Stars from the late 1980 until the early 1990s when he was controversially stripped off the captainship. According to Black Stars folklore, this singular act of ‘injustice’ led to political and tribal divisions in the Black Stars and led to the massive failure of Ghana in world football between 1992 and 2006.

One would have thought Appiah’s Black Stars fate will change with his second coming as a deputy coach. Last week, Appiah decided it was time to stir the hornet’s nest. He decided he had had enough Black Stars discrimination. This time he will not let go without a fight. That’s fair enough!

He is reported to have told his employers straight in the face: “Pay me US$ 6,000 plus a car or I am out of here.” Appiah, who has obviously been hit by ‘The Oliver Twist Virus’ would not take a meager US$ 3,000 per month while his boss who is not 8 times as experienced as he is takes a whopping record-breaking US$ 45,000 per month. What is worse? It has been widely rumoured that Ghana’s new head coach Milovan’s personal interpreter takes US$5,000. Boy Mr. Appiah must have felt his ego has been violated, to say the least.

That cannot be right

There is nothing wrong with asking for more. There is however, everything wrong with denying a man his due on the basis of his nationality. Had Mr. Appiah, been European would he be paid US$ 3,000 without fringe benefits? Some may see this situation as one of Appiah’s personal fights, but I see it as a case for all the Ghanaian coach.

For far too long, the Ghanaian coach has been given the raw deal. They have been pushed to the sideline for too long. When we ship a foreign coach into Ghana, he is treated like a god. When its time to do same for our kind, we develop cold feet. And amazingly, we have some of the highest expectations of these ill-treated coaches.

Blown chance

Some have argued that Akwasi Appiah, like many other domestic coashes have had their chance with the Black Stars and blown it in the past. For that matter, any other local coach attached to the Black Stars do not merit the big bucks. This is a very terribly deficient logic and it flies in the face of common sense. That some other coaches blew their chance with terrible performances does not merit anyone being treated badly in his own country. Mr. Appiah is the deputy coach of the Ghana Black Stars and he deserves all the largess that come with the position. Whether his predecessors failed or not.

Low confidence

But sometimes, I cannot blame the GFA too much. Some of the local coaches simple do not have the confidence to put action where their mouth is. These ones will take just about any bread cramps thrown at them by the GFA. They are happy to be willing victims in their own motherland. Akwasi Appiah’s demands ought to serve as a clear example for subsequent local coaches to follow.

Certification

I have heard also from some quarters that Ghanaian coaches are not qualified enough to earn the big bucks. Another illogical gibberish. But why will it not be used against our local coaches when they are so content with little education. Local coaches will hardly upgrade their skill. Of course in a league system where the corridors of power and the shrines of voodoo gods are the places where results are determined, who needs certificates.

Does Racism have a twin brother?

I think Akwasi Appiah should be bold. He should stand his ground and quit if need be. Although not guaranteed, I wish all local coaches will unit and set rates for different categories of coaches and jobs. Then maybe they will not be taken for granted. But until then, dear Mr. Appiah, you have dared to thread where eagles fear. You have joined the Jesus Christ’s and the Galileo’s. Expect the axe on your US$ 3,000 per month head.

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