Expatriates Snub Stars

On Friday, a panel led by Ghana Football Association (GFA) president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, is expected to continue the process of selecting Ghana’s next coach by interviewing expatriate coaches shortlisted for the vacant Black Stars job. But even before this interview process takes place, the selection of Kwasi Appiah’s successor has been mired in controversy following the withdrawal of Dutchman Patrick Kluivert and uncertainty surrounding two other shortlisted coaches who have distanced themselves from the race for the hot seat. Last Monday, the GFA announced that Kluivert, one of the five shortlisted coaches, had pulled out of the race and his place taken by German coach Bernd Schuster, who was previously on stand-by. However, Schuster, one-time FC Cologne and Real Madrid coach, had denied knowledge of his purported application for the vacant job, saying on German television he was in the dark about the FA’s shortlist that had him competing with former Israeli Avram Grant, Italian Marco Tardelli, Spaniard Juan Ignicio Jimenenz and Frenchman Michel Pont. The ex-German international told German TV station Sport1 Last monday that he was not interested in the job, revealing that his attention was drawn by his agent to the Ghana vacant job but gave no approval for an application to be sent on his behalf. The controversy deepened further after 1982 World Cup winner Tardelli, who was until recently assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland, claimed he had not applied for the job and was unaware his particulars had been sent to the FA. He is due to be interviewed in Accra on Friday alongside Pont, assistant coach of Switzerland at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The situation leaves former Chelsea coach Grant, 60, and Jimenenz as the main candidates for the vacant job, who are both scheduled to face the FA interview panel on Saturday. Meanwhile, 56-year-old Argentine, Ricardo Alberto Gareca Nardi, a former coach of Brazilian club Palmeiras and Argentinian top flight club Vélez Sársfield, has been placed on stand-by in the event that any of the shortlisted coaches withdraws.