Q&A: GFA boss Kurt Okraku speaks on future of Milo, Black Stars

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President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kurt Okraku granted an interview on TV3 Thursday January 20 on the Blacks Stars performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

He spoke on the future of the coach Milovan Rajevac, the selection of players, the pending meeting with with the Minister of Youth and Sports.

Read below the full transcript of his interview with Johnnie Hughes…

Question: Ghanaians are not happy, how do you feel?

Answer : I cannot be happy when our Blacks Stars have not performed. So I share in the pain of the entire country, I share in the pain of everybody who follows Ghana sports.

At this moment everybody has the right to speak or to share their pain but at the same time it is a moment that we need cool heads to navigate our Black Stars to the level that we desire.

The journey to make Black Stars champions did not start two years ago under my leadership, it started since the last time the Black Stars won the AFCON and the journey has been ongoing. Since the last time we won the AFCON, we have never been able to win, being a finalist is not being a winner so we have not been able to win. So we are trying to look for the solution.

The solution is not what was played by the team in Cameroon but it behooves on all of us as a family to look inside within us , look externally to find how our Blacks Stars can win AFCON again.

It is our responsibility and it is my responsibility.

Question: Kurt, this will be the worst performance of the Black at the AFCON history, who do we blame?

Answer : So, the last time the Black Stars did not go beyond the group stage was in 2006, it was the year that the Black Stars qualified for the Mundial.

When there is success the team takes responsibility, when there is defeat the team takes responsibility.

We went out to represent Ghana to make Ghana proud, we went out with a clear plan to win titles, to win the championship, it did not work, it did not happen.

The team did not perform like we expected. That is what I am saying that, it is important we need to look inside, we need cool heads to find a way to bring the Black Stars back to winning ways…

If we throw our hands in despair it won’t be good for all of us and that is not what we want.

Question: Will you recommend the sack of coach Milovan Rajevac?

Answer: Let me say this, I said that Coach Milovan had been the best coach Ghana has ever hired when we speak about expatriate coaches, because in 2009, he was the technical advisor for the youth that won the Mundial in Egypt.

He went to the CHAN grand finale, in 2010 he went to the AFCON grand finale, he was a losing finalist and he took Ghana to the Quarter finals of the World Cup and based on this, he holds the best records of any expatriate whatsoever. Based on this Ghana hired him.

…Beyond Ghana he didn’t achieve anything, that is true, but it is also very true of many top coaches across the world, they go throw some challenges, they don’t win trophies … so we believe in Milovan.

It is also true that Milovan had had an unfortunate time with our Black Stars, unfortunate in the sense that he has never had four days to train this squad since he took over the ship.

Most often you have to train this team…

We believe that the AFCON platform will give all of us the needed space to train the squad but what happened? FIFA gave a directive that the players could stay with their clubs on the 3rd and 4th of January, the competition started on the 9th of January , again more than four days of uninterrupted full house training.

Let us be fair, this squad is made up of predominantly new players, 17 debutants.

Question: Is Milo going to stay or will he be sacked?

Answer: We just arrived , we have not engaged as EXCO, we have not engaged key stakeholders. It is important that we all have cool heads going through the process and take the right decisions for Ghana football. We believe that we have the men to take that decision for us that will eventually bring Ghana back to winning ways.

Question on Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe’s call for the dissolution of Black Stars and hiring of new coach

Answer : Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe is a former President of the GFA, he had his time, he took his decisions, those were his days, I am not going to speak directly to what he said.

As the leader of this family I believe in my ways, I believe in my vision, I believe in the people who work with me and I think that we all keep cool heads and engage.

Question on what will be discussed at the meeting with the Sports Minister

Answer : Definitely, the food on the table will be the performance of our Black Stars, what went in there, what caused it and like I said what has to be done to ensure that we bring back the love to millions of Ghanaians who want to see our Black Stars win.

The Minister of State responsible for Sports wants us to meet. As the leader of the football family I want our Black Stars to win, I want us to be African Champions so we will discuss , we will engage on all forms and take decisions that will be in the best interest of our dear country. I believe that we have the men to think through this , the men with the right levels of skill-sets .

Question: Do you regret on hindsight sacking CK Akonor?

Answer : I don’t regret it

Question: What is the magic wand to bring back the love?

Answer : First of all, I don’t think that the people have completely departed. Fixing the problems of Ghana football starts from the very foundation.

We brought back juvenile football after along break, We got … to invest millions of US dollars in our juvenile football, we are investing 100,000 dollars each year in the purchase of footballs for regional football development, we brought back all the domestic competitions after the Covid, women’s football is enjoying the best of support ever.

The next few days, it will be live on television , first in the history of Ghanaian football the WPL will on television free to air, our youth 20 are currently the African champions, the right level of supports we need to see our Black Stars also very dominant again , we need to work towards more investment into our domestic leagues.

In saying this I must be grateful to the companies who believe in the vision who continue to invest in our GPL, in our GOL in our WPL. Currently the Black Stars is the premium brand and if the Black Stars do not win it has the multiplier effect on the entre football ecosystem .

It is my responsibility, it is the responsibility of the EXCO, it is the responsibility of everybody in the football ecosystem to have cool heads around this time during this period to ensure that we have the right decisions being taken for our dear Black Stars. In terms of the players these are the best intangible assets we have available to the technical team.

I said it on another platform that if there is Lionel Messi somewhere who is not picked by the coach bring the name up , every player who made himself available in terms of the highest quality found his way into the 28-man squad. Our young players need our supporter, they need the support of everybody to during this challenging period.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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