Former Sewe Sports coach Rigo Gervais says he is ready to handle Ghanaian champions Asante Kotoko who are without a coach since asking Mas-Ud Dramani to proceed on leave three weeks ago.
The 45-year-old was sacked after the Ivorian side were eliminated from the CAF Champions League after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Guinean side AS Kaloum at the preliminary round stage.
Gervais won two Ivorian league titles, two Super Cups, one national cup final, Champions League quarter-final berth and reached the final of the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup.
He told Techiman-based Gaskiya FM: “I decided to leave Sewe Sports to start a new challenge be it in Abidjan here or anywhere. I know more about Kotoko, They are a big club not only in Ghana but Africa.
“I have watched them last season in Kumasi in a Champions league game where I came to monitor the two sides because my club were to meet the winner of that tie and I saw how big the club was. They have some great players.
“For me I am ever ready to come to Ghana to coach Kotoko.”
New Edubiase United Vice President Alex Ackumey believes the Ghana Football Association will require massive assistance from government to raise the status of the Premier League.
Last week, Ghana president John Mahama in his State of the Nation address tasked the Ghana federation to improve top-flight which has struggled in recent times.
The professionalism of the clubs has been questioned and crowds have dwindled over the years but the area of sponsorship has seen some
But Ackumey believes for the league to improve, the state must show some concern and assist clubs.
“We can’t do it alone, I believe that it takes two to tango. I plead with the government to also help provide infrastructure to help in the development of the league, if you look at some other countries facilities are provided in every district or town that helps in the development of their leagues,” Ackumey told Joy FM.
Ghana football icon Abedi Pele,says Ghana were the best team in the AFCON final and were unlucky not to bring the trophy home.
The Black Stars recovered from an early set-back in the opening group game where they lost to Senegal to make the final of the Africa cup of nations in Equatorial Guinea.
They however lost out in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to Ivory Coast [9-8] in what was a mirror reflection of the final in 1992 where the Ivory Coast run out winners.
The team managed to achieve this enviable feet of reaching the final despite a relatively low expectations from their fans back home following a disappointing world cup campaign six months earlier.
Pele who had two of his sons [Andre and Jordan] playing in the final says Ghana were the better side and were unfortunate to miss out on the ultimate.
“Yes we have seen that the best had not won. But that’s behind us we look to the future Ghana surely gain will be African Champions soon,” Abedi said
“God decides. We will do everything to achieve it the important thing is already to do everything to get there.”
Fifa have handed former Crystal Palace youth product Michael Boateng a worldwide liftetime ban from football after he admitted accepting a bribe to fix a match in the Conference South.
Boateng was jailed for 16 months in December 2014 and issued with a lifetime ban from the English FA, which has now been extended by world governing body Fifa, after he accepted charges relating to his time at Whitehawk FC.
A statement on Fifa’s website read: “A lifetime ban imposed by The Football Association (The FA) against British player Michael Boateng (from England) in relation to match manipulation has been extended by FIFA to have worldwide effect.
“Michael Boateng admitted to charges laid against him by The FA for several breaches of The FA Rules, including accepting a bribe, gift, reward or other consideration which was, or appeared to be, related to seeking to influence the outcome or conduct of a match or competition. The player also admitted to the charge of failing to report the offer made to him.
“The charges relate to matches in the Conference South in the sixth tier of the English football league system in 2013.”
The towering centre-back played the entire duration of the home game as they were held to their second successive draw in their Group B match.
He made his debut in the tough Asian competition last week when they held Asamoah Gyan’s Al Ain to a 1-1 draw in their opening group match of the top-flight continental tournament.
Al-Shabab took the lead on 35 minutes through Abdurahman Al-Khaibari, but fell behind just after the hour mark when Igor Sergeev equalised for the visitors.
A Kakhi Makharadze penalty gave Pakhtakor the lead less than 10 minutes later but Naif Hazazi was on hand to save a point for the White Lions inside the last five minutes.
The 2-2 draw leaves Al-Shabab in second place in the pool, two points behind Pakhtakor and tied with Asamoah Gyan’s Al-Ain.
Awal, wearing the number 23 shirt, played in his regular position in the heart of the back four in Al-Shabab’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
A product of the Feyenoord Academy, Awal spent time at ASEC Mimosas, Asante Kotoko and Maritzburg United before switching to the Riyadh outfit, who currently sit sixth in the Saudi top flight, earlier this year.
Another Ghanian at the club, former Sekondi Eleven Wise and Ismaily forward John Antwi, also featured in Tuesday night’s fixture.
Asante Kotoko must fork out GHS 54,000 (US$ 15, 882) to pay off former coach Mas-Ud Dramani as accumulated salary for the six months left on his contract.
Dramani was told to proceed on a 120-day leave following the club’s struggles in the Ghana Premier League after seven matches three weeks ago.
But the former Ghana U17 girls team coach requested to severe ties with the club and not to return.
GHANASoccernet.com understands the two-time league winner was a GHS 9,000-a month salary.
Kotoko’s inability to reach an agreement with the coach is what has delayed the appointed of a his successor.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has been keeping close tabs on KVC Westerlo defender Mitch Apau as potential competition for Spanish right back Cesar Azpilicueta.
Apau, born to Ghanaian parents in Holland has been in remarkable form for Westerlo this season.
His quick pace and knack for attacking football has drawn comparisons with Brazil and Barcelona right back Dani Alves.
Apau this season has been named into the best team of the month in the Belgian Pro League than any other defender.
Apparently Mourinho who expects his team to win the English Premier League has been following Apau quietly.
The Portuguese mastermind has shifted players around in the right back position but has not achieved the desired results.
As one of the feeder teams to Chelsea in Europe, Mourinho has been given first hand information on the player and has tasked his Belgium scout to ensure that the 24-year-old Ghanaian does not slip out of Chelsea’s hands.
Mourinho is also very much aware of the rising stock of Apau as one of the big three in Turkish football being Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasary are ready to offer a contract in the summer.
Apau however prefers to stay focussed in Belgium till the end of the league before considering his future.
“We want to qualify for the Europa Cup for next season. This is what I want to spend all my energies on. I am grateful to God that I am turning in strong performances this season. But I believe I can do more and I have set myself the goal of being the best player in the world in my position, so there is more hard work and concentration coming,” said Apau who began his career at Ajax Amsterdam at the age of 12.
Watch Mitch Appau’s sentation goal in the 1-0 win over Cercle Brugge in the Belgian Pro League:
Ghana’s male Under-20 football team, Black Satellites, are heading for Senegal as one of the favourites to win the 19th edition of the African Youth Championship (AYC), with Coach Sellas ‘Borbor’ Tetteh admitting that it won’t be an easy adventure winning a fourth title, but they are ready for the challenge.
According to Coach Tetteh, such tags brought unnecessary pressure on the boys who were eager to follow in the steps of their predecessors.
While Coach Tetteh, who led the team to their third title in 2009 and went on to be crowned world champions, admits that any team from Ghana is always considered favourites at any competition because of their skill and pedigree, he will be more interested with the performance of his team and not how they are tagged by the so-called pundits.
“It is not easy being a former champion and everyone will come playing tougher against us because we are the Ghana team. All these require us to be cautious and not being carried away or complacent. We will be ready for our first game on Monday and we will wait to see how it turns out,” Coach Tetteh told the Graphic Sports.
After two weeks of training in Turkey, the Satellites are expected to arrive in Dakar tomorrow and play their opening game against South Africa on Monday, eager to claim their first three points from Group B.
“I believe people see as favourites because we are Ghana, but the truth is, it is our performance that is more important to me. We are going to Senegal with our own dreams and expectations and realising them will engage our focus, rather than whether we are favourites or not,” he told the Graphic Sports.
Over the weekend, Coach Tetteh cleared the last preparation hurdle by naming his final 21-man squad, a team he described as ‘talented and determined to work hard for success.”
“All the players selected bring their unique qualities to the team, however, they are all determined to make it like their predecessors.
Coach Tetteh asserts that they are going to Senegal to claim one of the four World Championship tickets to New Zealand but reckons it will not be an easy task and the team will have to put in a lot of effort.
“With the teams on parade, it will not be an easy task just strolling into the semi-finals, everyone is going to Senegal with the intention of being crowned champions. It is our dream too, but we will take it a game at a time and work hard towards realising that dream,” Coach Sellas Tetteh, who led the Satellites to the team to their third AYC title in 2009.
Very much aware of the terrain and the opposition he is likely to get from Group B contenders, South Africa, Mali and Zambia, Coach Tetteh relishes the task ahead, but stressed the determination of his squad to scale the hurdle and qualify for New Zealand 2015.
Ghana’s representative in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup, Accra Hearts of Oak, revelling in their last Saturday’s qualification are dreading the financial cost involved in their next assignment which is said to be hovering around GH¢180,00 for the two-legged games against Olympic de Ngor.
Already, their first round game against AS Police of Benin has saddled them with some GH¢121,000 debt in an assignment which merely involved a road travel to the Benin capital of Cotonou.
According to the Administrative and Financial Manager of Hearts, Hackman Aidoo, the cost involved could have been much higher had the only option for the trip been by air.
He told the Graphic Sports yesterday that while the club was thinking about balancing the books after the A.S. Police conquest, it still must cough a bigger amount for the Senegal trip because this time around, it involved an air travel to and back from Senegal.
He disclosed that preliminaries estimates had revealed the club would need about $23,000 for return tickets for their 32-man contingent expected to make the trip with some $12,800 to be spent for accommodation for four nights.
He said but for the new CAF directive which enjoined all participating teams to take care of their hotel accommodation, the cost of hosting the first leg would have been quite colossal because the Phobians would have been further burdened by the task of looking for a hotel of the preference of the visiting teams.
Last Saturday’s trip to Cotonou alone, according to him, cost the team in excess of GH¢37,000 and this, together with the over GH¢84,000, left the team with the debt of GH¢87,000 to contend with.
He said unlike previous times, the burden of financing the club’s participation fell on several individuals both in within and outside the board, this particular campaign was obviously the burden of the club’s Board Chairman and bankroller, Togbe Afede VIX.
“He has been the sole bankroller of the team for sometime now and the only way to reciprocate is for the fans to show their support,”Mr Aidoo added.
By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
Follow Akyereko on Twitter: @AkyerekOfficial
Manchester City’s Ghanaian teen star Divine Naah has expressed delight at his Eredivisie debut and says he wants regular playing time at NAC Breda.
Naah, 18, and graduate of Ghana’s Right to Dream Academy, was farmed out to NAC Breda by English Premier League title-holders Manchester City and he marked his league debut for the Yellow Armies over the weekend.
The gifted midfielder came off the Breda bench in the second-half in their 1-1 stalemate with FC Twente in Enschede.
Naah told GHANAsoccernet.com he is extremely delight about his debut but most importantly wants to get to play more often.
“I’m very happy I’m making the progress but Looking forward to more playing time,” he said in an exclusive interview with GHANAsoccernet.com.
Naah, who is from the same academy as Chicago Fire’s David Accam who was Swedish side Helsingborg IF last season and former Swedish Allsvenskan Golden Shoe Award winner Abdul Majeed Waris.
Father of Ghana striker Jordan Ayew, Abedi Pele says he is confident that Jordan Ayew still has his best years ahead of him.
The Lorient striker has come in for massive condemnation from some sections of the Ghanaian football fraternity for his performance in the national team.
He was coach Avram Grant’s favored partner upfront with skipper Asamoah Gyan going into the Africa cup of nations in Equatorial Guinea but lost his position in the starting line after a series of uninspiring displays in the opening games.
The 23 year old striker also failed to impress at the Stade Valedrome and was ultimately vended out to Lorient despite being tagged as the most talented of all his father’s breed.
Despite these early setbacks Abedi still experts Jordan to blossom in coming years.
“In football and in life, everyone has his character, everyone follows his path. It’s fate,” Abedi said
“Some things happen more quickly than others and Jordan is still young we will see what will become.”
“He has whatever is needed in a good striker.”
Ghana and Marseille legend Abedi Pele is bleeding from the pain of watching former side Marseille throw away a 2 goal advantage to lose to minors Caen in the French League 1 over the weekend.
Abedi, father and now agent of Dede Ayew was at the Stade Valedrome to watch the club he won the UEFA Champions league with in 1993 throw away a healthy 2 goal advantage to lose 3-2 to Caen over the weekend.
The three time Africa footballer of the year says the performance was unacceptable of the standards at a club like Marseille.
“Very, very disappointed. It hurts my heart to see OM play as well,”Abedi said
“It was very bad and it does not give confidence to the future until the end of the season.”
“No defense, no midfield, madness and the disappointment still hurts me.”
The defeat now means Marseille fall four points behind leaders Lyon and will need a positive results against Toulouse this weekend before taking on Lyon a week after that.
Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Osei Banahene scored a brace in Ismaily’s 3-1 friendly win over Arab Contractors on Monday evening.
The 26-year-old has started paying off the investment made in him having joined the Egyptian club last month as a direct replacement for compatriot John Antwi who was sold to Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab.
Banahene has scored in two previous friendly matches for the Yellow Dragons.
He extended his rich goalscoring form on Monday night where he scored twice to help Ismaily to a 3-1 win over Arab Contractors.
The ex Heart of Lions hitman hopes to continue with his rich vein of form when the Egyptian top flight resumes.
By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
Follow Akyereko on Twitter: @AkyerekOfficial
Ghanaian youth forward Patrick Twumasi has lifted the Kazakhstan Super Cup after playing a crucial role to help his club – Astana FC defeat Ibrahim Moro’s Kairat FC 3-2 on penalties.
The 20-year-old lasted the entire regulation minutes and played additional 9 minutes of extra-time until he was replaced as normal time ended scoreless.
While Twumasi was playing the entire minutes Astana, midfielder Moro who was a member of Ghana’s provisional squad for the 2015 AFCON and joined Kairat from Swedish side AIK Solna, did not make their squad for the game.
Astana confirmed their superiority over Kairat by winning the match on penalties to sweep their first silverware ahead of the brand new season.
Twumasi joined Astana last season and helped them win a double and also emerged as the club’s second highest scorer.
EGS Gafsa midfielder Uriah Asante hopes to be the star performer when he visits his former side Etoile du Sahel on Wednesday in the Tunisian Ligue 1.
The 22-year-old terminated his contract with Etoile in September last year and joined the struggling league side.
He joined Etoile in the summer of 2012 for a three-year period and later loaned to Romanian side Astra but had to terminate his contract.
“I have a lot of respect for Etoile but on Wednesday, I want to be at my best against them. I would love to score against them because Gafsa need the points to survive,” Asante told GHANASoccernet.com
Asante has since been influential with four goals in seven appearances for Gafsa who are currently 12th on the league table; three points away from the drop.