Kotoko to decide Zachariassens's fate

Author: George Ernest Asare
Kotoko coach Kjetil Zachariassen

Coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko,Kjetil Zachariassen is expected to face management of the Porcupine Warriors today to present his report over their botched Confederation Cup match.

The Norwegian trainer was said to have gone AWOL   on alleged threat on his life following the team's defeat to Cote d' Ivoire side San Pedro.

The coach was however reported to have returned to Kumasi last Saturday after a week holiday in Cote d' Ivoire purposely to continue with his job.

On Sunday November 3, Kotoko lost 0-2 to San Pedro, losing the tie 1-2 on aggregate, a result that sparked anger from the teeming fans, particularly those who travelled to Abidjan to support their team.

Following the disappointing loss and angry reaction from fans, the coach left the team hotel without informing any one and he is yet to report for duty. Neither has he communicated his whereabout to the club.

Asante Kotoko spokesperson, Kennedy Boakye Ansah, told the Graphic Sports Online in an interview that  though the coach joined the team bus to their hotel in Abidjan, he went  to his room like the rest of the team members but that was the last they saw or heard from him.

“He arrived at the hotel in the team bus and went upstairs but when we later tried to establish contact with him, he never picked any call from any of us and continued to ignore all contacts until we  left for Ghana” He explained.

Mr Ansah was of believe that  coach Zachariassen  was still locked up in Abidjan and therefore wondered why he had  refused to pick  the numerous calls from management.

“The team is on break until Monday. If he returns, we will hold a meeting with him to discuss the way forward. To the best of my knowledge, management have not sacked him so we are still waiting for him to join the team.

It is alleged that Zachariassen refused to join the team back to Kumasi and is reluctant to return to work until he is assured of his safety following alleged threats to his life by some fans.

The coach, a Norwegian, is reported to have lodged a complaint to the Norway Consulate in Ghana over the incident.

However, Ansah refuted the reports, insisting at no point had anyone, either management or fans, threatened the coach’s life. He also said management had not threatened to sack him.

 “ So far as we are concerned , Coach Zachariassen is still the coach of Kotoko in spite of refusing to join the team to Kumasi.

“ We expect him to be with the team on Monday so we have a word with him before taking a decision” the Kotoko PRO said.

Recounting  the events in Abidjan before and after their ill-fated match, Mr Ansah said Kotoko fans who travelled from Ghana to support the team were joined by their colleagues in Abidjan to cheer the team on at the stadium but after losing to San Pedro, the fans attributed their defeat to the coach  and  verbally cast  aspersions at him,  “but they never threatened his life as had been speculated in the media.

”After the match, some of the fans obviously were very disappointed and angry about the output of the coach and therefore  poured their frustrations into verbal insults at him, but they never threatened his life, so it is unfortunate that news had gone round that the fans were after the blood of the coach.

“ Insulting a coach or players for poor performance is natural in football  because it happens everywhere so what took place in Abidjan was not an exception” Mr Ansah stressed.

Mr Ansah was hopeful the coach would return to his post but said in the unlikely event that he did not  management would take a decision on the way forward.