The rise and fall of Coach CK Akonnor by Muftawu Abdulai Nabila of Joy 99.7 fm

Many would recall the day I published this following the decision of the Ghana FA to dissolve all technical teams.

At the foot, just as did on Twitter, I said CK Akonnor was the next Black Stars Coach.

A week later, I revealed his salary.

Yesterday, he was sacked as head coach of the Black Stars and he left with his two assistants.

Today, I share with you the beginning and end of CK Akonnor as Black Stars Coach

The beginning and end of @akonnor_ck as Black Stars coach. I will try and summarise this in a short thread.

There’s a feeling within the Ghana Football Association that, CK Akonnor was hired by Isaac Asiamah because he proposed him at the Presidency following the decision not to renew the contract of Kwasi Appiah.

When GFA notified the Sports Ministry of their decision to let go of Appiah, many were unhappy, top power brokers in government. The Normalisation Committee had held discussions with Appiah and was working on renewing his contract.

But, Kurt E S Okraku and his team said no. There were serious disagreements. This singular led to several promises on the table broken, and people lost respect for each other because they couldn’t keep their words.

Eventually, Jubilee House gave in, but insisted it must be a local coach. The FA wanted an expatriate, but as this tweet captured https://twitter.com/Muftawu_Nabila/status/1217088549440323586, it is Ghana Beyond Aid.

When both parties reached an agreement, FA were asked to bring their choice of coaches. This was presented within three days later,
CK Akonnor was not part of the list of coaches for the Black Stars job.

Simply put, CK was not even part of the top five list of the FA. Kurt had plans for him, but not the Black Stars because he felt he was not ready.

Word had it that, lobbying had gone on behind the scenes with some power brokers within government including ‘Prime Minister” whom many claim plays football with CK at Legon on weekends. During the visit to the Jubilee House to agree on Appiah’s successor, CK name came up and it was reportedly mentioned by Isaac Asiamah.

Jubilee House approved it.

President reportedly extolled his qualities saying; ‘he has managed [Eleven} Wise, Hearts {of Oak}, :Asante} Kotoko, and even your very own Dreams FC. Give him the job.’

Kurt Okraku was stunned. ‘This is a man I work with so, if he’s to be considered, I should have known’.

At this point, he felt something was amiss, and now, he knows all cliques that happened.

It was the genesis of their issues. CK got a salary of $25k per month. Trust me, KK Sarpong was not even willing to pay that.

However, FA said they will work on ensuring he gets same salary as Kwesi Appiah, but GNPC would have none of that. They nearly paid him $20k.

Eventually, he had to take $25k, but with many strings attached.

Many would recall when I shared his appointment and salary, I added there were some strings attached to the money.

Some people were going to get cuts from that money. Including journalists based on advice from these politicians. Did CK cry? Your guess is as good as mine.

When Akonnor made his first Europe tour as Black Stars Coach, a plethora of things came up including players allegedly giving him money. CK heard these things and was disappointed. Whether true or not, I can’t authenticate.

But, the FA had their ears on the ground, too.

He named his first squad in February 2020. Before that squad was released, he was given a list to invite. CK was not willing to budge. When I wrote the story, I remember the words of Gary Al-Smith vividly. We allowed it to hang.

New names came up in the call-up, though.

After that call-up, the FA President had his reservations. Then allegations of CK working in the interest some agencies, notably, one Tony Appiah started flying in the tongues of FA officials.

Tony is a close friend of CK Akonnor. So any time his players were called, FA don’t get it. But, the position of CK was simple, Appiah is my friend, but one of his players was already in the team before I came.

This issue led to a breakdown in relationship between the two.

It is alleged, @kurtokraku said he won’t spend half a million dollars to win an election for someone to market his players through the national. That was not going to happen.

Anytime players were called, they will ask him to remove some names and replace them with others.

Kurt E S Okraku and CK Akonnor’s relationship deteriorated to the extent that, they were not on talking terms. It was at that point Kurt began lobbying to have CK sacked. This was February 2021 or so

He tried three times without success. Powerful political hands were on CK and saved him. At a point, he got frustrated and reportedly said he will sack him and damn the consequences.

After the failed attempt to sack CK, he invited some players for some games. Najeeb Yakubu and Edmund Ako Mensah were called.

The FA President allegedly replaced them with Gideon Mensah and Philemon Baffour. Guess what, at that meeting, there was a feeling of me vs them because they met before they came out to meet CK.

When I shared this story, CK was accused of leaking the information to me.

Jones Alhassan Abu (blessed memory), Tourism boss (Black Stars management committee member), and CK Akonnor all came to me wanting to know my sources because the details of my stories are vivid from their meetings.

So, they blame CK for it because of how detailed the reports are. Veteran Sports Journalist called to extract same information. I prefer to go to the grave with my sources than reveal them to a third party were my words.

Prior to this, CK Akonnor and Kurt E S Okraku had met Mustapha Ussif ,and he defined their roles, asking Kurt to stay clear because CK works in the interest of the nation.
https://www.myjoyonline.com/okraku-and-akonnor-smoke-peace-pipe-minister-advises-they-work-independently/

CK Akonnor was frustrated by Ghana Football Association to the extent that, a journalist gave him the current world cup qualifiers fixtures.

The National Team Department of the FA did not give him that. He asked and they never did. CK got the fixtures when Pirates played a CAF champions league game at the Accra stadium.

Now, let me give a bit of credence to CK Akonnor words last year when he was appointed.

He said was not going to call players based on names, and it is true. He was a man willing to stand by his words, but that meant that, more impasse.

Recently, when Daniel Amartey was inactive, he didn’t want to call him. A leader of the FA asked him if he has any player who can play for Leicester City. The other part of the comment, I won’t mention, else, war.

CK gave in and Amartey had to come. Some of the new players were never invited by him. They were passed through the Technical Director to get CK to call them.

Abrosius
Manaf
Liweling
Kyereh
Braydon

And many more.

The recent call ups for the game against Ethiopia and South Africa.

They were 6 new players expected, but only Manaf (discovered by a journalist), Kyereh showed up. You can describe them as Lippert’s boys.

CK also had issues with his assistant, David Duncan. Not sure he wanted Duncan to assist him. Their issues began in Turkey during the friendly matches against Mali and Qatar.

In fact, Duncan was not permitted to speak to the players. It was that bad. Claims were that Duncan said he has never been an assistant and can’t arrange cones or warm-up teams. Well, I don’t know how true these claims are, but how was he able to coach all these years?

If you frequented their sessions, you would notice that CK Akonnor was doing the sessions himself instead of the usual assistant leading it.

It was the key reason why he had a second assistant. Though he wanted the assistant, the FA, again, had a hand in it.

He was accused of ‘insecurity’.

This happened because CK had given Duncan a session a few minutes before the start of the Mali match. Duncan wanted to warm the team his way, CK told Duncan in Ga, we won’t do it like that.

Andre ended up leading the warm-up session.

Because of this supposed insecurity, CK Akonnor reportedly refused to use scouting reports presented to him.

In the South Africa World Cup qualifier which happened to be his last match, an ExCo member told me how he was presented with a vivid report by a scout, but he never used it.

Technical Director, Randy Abbey, George Amoako all had copies of the report. There was a meeting on how Ghana should play, but it was not implemented.

The report was so detailed that, the ExCo member said if they had used it, their worst would have been a draw.

He was so angry that he declared ‘he has to go’.

But, they needed political clearance. There were two meetings with high ranking politicians to replace CK. The Ministry of Youth and Sports hadn’t approved the sacking of CK as of last Friday, but a meeting this weekend brought CK to his knees, despite disagreement even within ExCo.

Mustapha Ussif watched the Ethiopia and South Africa games and was unconvinced, per sources, but he could not easily approve his sacking. He needed to do some consultations, too.

I can’t state categorically whether the meetings last weekend got CK sacked, but it probably did.

About a week ago, GFA President, Kurt Okraku who was in the company of Mohammed Jiji Alifo, President of Dreams FC told some people he knew CK Akonnor cannot do the ‘job’.

By Thursday, Black Stars will have a new coach, hopefully, #TheNabilaShow will get a hint. At the moment, the FA is open-minded willing to engage more.

Credit: Muftawu Abdulai Nabila

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