By Ameenu Shardow
Ghana U20 star Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi has returned to full scale training amidst reports he could miss the remainder of the season through injury.
The 18-year-old has been out with a hamstring and related back problems since returning from the 2013 Africa Youth Championships where he helped Ghana win silver in Algeria.
Supersport.com has however reported the ex Wa All Stars winger might miss the remainder of the season due to his injury.
But the Maritzburg United player returned to full scale training on Monday after staying away for about one-month in recovery.
Maritzburg’s away league game at Platinum Stars on Wednesday might however proved too soon for Sarfo-Gyamfi who has now completed two training sessions with The Team of Choice.
Sarfo-Gyamfi, who turns 19 next month, is one of the candidates vying for a spot in the Ghana U20 squad for the World Cup to be hosted by Turkey in June.
Maritzburg United’s Ghanaian star Frank Sarfo Gyamfi is likely to miss the rest of the season with more injury concerns after competing for his country at the recent African Youth Championship.
The teenager returned to his South African club from the tournament in Algeria with injury.
Now the club has revealed that the winger could require a lengthy lay off to sort out hamstring and related back problems, coach Ernst Middendorp has told Supersport.
The Maritzburg coach was not pleased that Gyamfi went to the tournament with an injury but his physical condition has now been aggravated and will require special treatment to correct persistent muscle problems, the coach added.
Ghana last week left Sarfo Gyamfi out of their preliminary list of players to go to the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey in June and July.
But the list released was only preliminary as coach Sellas Tetteh wants to observe the foreign players he has not worked with before.
This means Gyamfi could still make the final squad for the tournament in Turkey if he recovers before the tournament starts in June.
Sarfo Gyamfi, who turns 19 next month, was signed by Maritzburg at the start of the season but has made only three starts this season.
He has scored a single goal since arriving in South African football from Wa All Stars.
Ghana won’t be able to install goal-line technology in its stadiums any time soon as it won’t be able to afford the US$2m needed by FIFA to install the technology in the country’s four key stadiums. Worldwide plans are underway for the technology to be deployed in stadiums across the globe to ensure that referees are able to detect where the balls has crossed the line. This is to prevent the controversies that surrounds decision of referee during matches when it is not clear whether the ball has crossed the line. But Ghana should not be counting itself among the countries to implement the technology as the country has to fork out huge amounts of money be able to install it for key stadiums in Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi and Tamale alone. That is because Ghana sports authorities will have to pay Sepp Blatter’s organisation $30,000 to install, test and receive the ‘FIFA quality seal’ for Hawk-Eye’s camera-based system, which is expected to cost around $500,000 per ground in total. The amount will swell to about $8m if it is to be installed in all Premier League stadiums across the country. VIDEO: The GoalControl software that could be used in the Premier League Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ which was not given for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup is widely credited with sparking FIFA chief Blatter and the International Football Association Board’s sudden turnaround in their approach to goal-line technology. But some of football’s shareholders believe the realisation FIFA could profit financially may also have been a factor. UEFA president Michel Platini has long been a staunch opponent of goal-line technology, favouring two additional referees instead. He said this week that the cost of installing the technology remains prohibitive. ‘The price for the goal-line technology for UEFA is €53million for five years, so for us it’s very expensive,’ he said. ‘We need to equip all the stadiums and the price is too important for us.’ America’s Major League Soccer has also decided the cost of installing goal-line technology — whether through Hawk-Eye or one of FIFA’s three other licensed providers — is too high. MLS commissioner Don Garber said: ‘It’s very, very expensive. It had us take a step back and pause and try to figure out “is the value of having goal-line technology worth investing millions and millions of dollars for the handful of moments where it’s relevant?” Our view has been that we’re going to wait and see how it works out.’ The technology is much needed in Ghana where referees have consistently been accused of corruption in some of the decisions they have taken. But financials problems that bedevils the game in the country won’t allow the authorities to deploy such cash into the goal-line technology while key developmental issues remain key on the country’s football agenda.
Ex-Ghana FA chief Ben Koufie will make a recommendation to FIFA to ban Nigeria and Ivory Coast from playing at the U17 World Cup because they age-cheated their way to qualify for the competition.
Koufie says he will make a recommendation to the world football’s governing body to ban countries from age-group competitions if any of their players fail age tests.
Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scans have been used by both Fifa and the Confederation of African Football to check on the true ages of players as the clampdown on age cheats intensifies.
Nine players were banned from the African U-17 event after failing tests.
The players hailed from Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Congo.
Now Nigeria and Ivory Coast have qualified for the World Cup to be held in the UAE later this year have gone on to reach Saturday’s final in Morocco.
Koufie, who has worked with the technical committees of both CAF and FIFA, now wants Fifa to enforce tougher punishments for teams whose players fail MRI scans.
“I am going to make some recommendations to Fifa that it should just not be a matter of disqualifying players from tournaments when they have failed their MRI in a specific competition,” Koufie told BBC Sport.
“If the players played in the qualifying matches for that competition, that team must be disqualified because it used disqualified players in the qualifying process.
“Once you are caught and it is proven that the player played in the qualifying matches then you have to be disqualified.
“I am worried about it because it is not fair at all to the youngsters. It is called U-17 because it is a development stage.
“If you now bring 20 to 25-year-olds to play in that competition then it is an injustice.”
Koufie has been a consistent and strong critic of age cheating in Ghana and reckons the problem lies with coaches and administrators as part of what he says is an unhelpful emphasis on winning at a young age.
The former Black Stars boss, who has also worked in Zimbabwe and Botswana, has been talking to youth coaches in Ghana and wants them to be at the forefront of addressing age cheating by emphasising development rather than winning for youth teams.
“Coaching at this level must be taken seriously because that is the formative stage. The U-17 is not a must-win area,” he said.
“It should be a chance for the boys to learn at a competitive level, that is the assessment. We are incorrectly using it now as a real competition where they must win.
“Sometimes in football you lose in order to learn and in the process learn to win. They may lose but they must learn from their losses.”
All four teams – champions Ivory Coast, runners-up Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco – have qualified for the Fifia Under-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates from 17 October to 8 November.