Vanderpuye: GFA should have redeployed Hughton instead of sacking him

Chris Hughton

Former Sports Minister Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye has expressed disagreement with the decision to sack Chris Hughton as coach of the Black Stars after the shock first-round exit at the AFCON 2023 in Ivory Coast.

Speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues program, Vanderpuye suggested that Hughton’s expertise could be better utilised in a technical role within the Ghana Football Association (GFA), rather than terminating his contract.

According to Vanderpuye, Hughton has valuable connections and experience that could be leveraged to develop Ghanaian footballers and coaches.

He proposed that Hughton be assigned to create a development strategy for retired footballers, which would enable them to become coaches in the future.

This strategy, Vanderpuye believes, would help build Ghana’s human resource capacity and reduce reliance on foreign coaches.

“Chris Hughton’s sacking is not the solution, and if I were in government, the amount of money we spent on Chris Hughton, I would rather wish that we don’t sack him but redeploy him to the technical Secretariat,” Vanderpuye said.

“And then what I will do is to assemble close to 50 of our former players, retired footballers, and say Chris Hughton, we want you to develop a development strategy for these people to become coaches in the future. So, we are building our human resource capacity.”

Vanderpuye envisions a scenario where Hughton, with his extensive coaching background, creates a training program for aspiring coaches, taking them through various aspects of the game and providing attachments to clubs.

This, he believes, would lead to a significant improvement in the quality of coaching in Ghana’s domestic leagues.

“Chris Hughton has the connections, he has coached so many teams in Europe, in England, so he would be able to get attachments for these people,” Vanderpuye explained.

“He, with his experience, can draw up a sort of syllabus for them to go through. He can take them to the training, and those who excel could be attached to our clubs. So that Accra Hearts of Oak doesn’t need to go and get a coach from South Africa or anywhere, or Asante Kotoko cannot go to any other country. Because these people would have had the qualification from the sort of training and attachment programs that have been developed by the Technical Secretariat of the FA.

“And they will, and then what will happen is that they will now send something to our local football, it will help the development of our local game. And some of these people can go to lower divisions, from the Premier League to the Division One, Division Two. And you’ll see that there will be a total revolution in the technical development of our football in the country.”

Hughton was appointed in early 2023 and had a subpar record, with four wins, four draws, and five losses. The win-loss-draw ratio during his coaching tenure stood at 30.77%, 30.77%, and 38.46%, respectively.

His team managed only 13 goals, averaging a goal per match, while conceding 16 times. With these results, the decision to part ways with him was widely accepted by Ghanaians.