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GFA not ready to replace Otto Addo now

BY: Maurice Quansah, Doha, Qatar
Kurt Okraku
Kurt Okraku

THE Ghana Football Association (GFA) has stated that it would not rush into naming a successor to Otto Addo after he confirmed last Saturday that he was stepping down as Black Stars coach and returning to his regular job at Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Following Ghana’s elimination from the ongoing FIFA World Cup, Addo confirmed that he would not stay beyond his six-month contract and that his immediate future was in Germany where he worked as the Talent Trainer and Scout for the Bundesliga side.

GFA President, Kurt Simeon-Okraku told the Daily Graphic that the FA would take its time to consider the options available to engage the key stakeholders, including the government, before arriving at the best candidate for the job.

He hinted that such an important announcement would not be made before the end of the year, especially as the senior national team would not have any immediate engagement before their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Angola next March in Luanda.

Earlier, the FA Vice-President, Mark Addo, told the media that the football regulatory body would first wait for the technical report from Coach Otto Addo to be laid before the FA’s decision-making Executive Council for deliberation before initiating the process of appointing the next national team coach.

To him, the football body was aware of the coach’s imminent departure and was working within a plan for which it would ensure proper engagement with relevant stakeholders and follow all the processes.

“We knew that Coach (Otto Addo) will be leaving in six months, so we do have a succession plan,” Mr Addo told a media briefing in Doha last Saturday.

“We’re just going through the process, it’s a process and you know the GFA works with different stakeholders in this decision-making process.

‘’Like I said, first thing is to get our report in quickly, have a meeting with our stakeholders, including the President, the Executive Council and Government and once that is done, we will make a decision on his successor. So yes, we have a plan,” the FA vice-president stated.

Even before the FA initiates the processes to name the next Black Stars coach, respected Irish-Ghanaian manager, Chris Hughton, looks favourite for the job after he was rumoured to be close to landing the job before Otto Addo got the nod.

Experienced Hughton, a former coach of Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, served as technical advisor to Otto Addo when he was appointed and is already familiar with the players and has a good working relationship with the FA.

The Daily Graphic gathered from the corridors of power within the FA that assistant coach George Boateng is also revered by the FA because of his strong coaching credentials and experience, having resigned his job as coach of Aston Villa youth side to take up the responsibility as a member of Otto Addo’s back-room staff of the Black Stars for the qualifying playoff in March and for the World Cup campaign in Qatar.

Meanwhile, Otto Addo has said he still has a future with the Black Stars and has left the door open for a future return to the national team as head coach after his current contract with Borussia Dortmund ends.

Ghana’s elimination from the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar effectively ended the coach’s interim role with the team as he looks to continue with his responsibilities with the German giants, Borussia Dortmund, as their talent coach and scout where he develops young talents and prepares them for a transition into the senior team.

He told the media that he had to respect his contract with his German employers and could not go beyond the six-month leave granted him to manage Ghana’s World Cup qualification playoffs and the preparation for the World Cup final. Nonetheless, he expressed his willingness to provide support to his successor or the GFA if need be.

The coach said his decision to step down after the World Cup was public knowledge and was based on the agreement between the GFA and Dortmund to release him for just six months after which he reverted to his developmental role with the club.

“Surely, maybe one day I’ll get the chance to work again with the GFA, but for the next two and a half years, I have a contract with Borussia Dortmund and I have to respect it,” he said at the teams Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Doha.