Hostility Against Ghana's Coach Deepens


Goran Stevanovic has always suspected the Ghanaian press did not like him. But even he must have been taken aback by the scenes at a press conference called to discuss his future.

The Serbian was installed as Black Stars coach last year with a mandate to win the country’s first Africa Cup of Nations in 30 years.

He failed, and disappointment boiled over on Wednesday, when the Ghana Football Association (GFA) announced a two-week delay in deciding his future.

Some reporters chanted against Stevanovic and some called him a liar, as he disputed widely reported claims that he had promised to resign if Ghana did not win the 2012 Nations Cup.

Stevanovic’s reaction at some points in the press conference was evident – there were times when he was visibly shaking.

“Anger, hostility and unfriendliness, it’s a natural reaction to what the team went through,” was how GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi described the mood.

He and his fellow executive committee members have given themselves two more weeks to make a decision.

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And they have made it clear that their consultations will include discussions over the terms of Stevanovic’s contract and the options available to both parties.

Stevanovic’s appointment as Ghana coach was far from a popular decision and those concerns have lingered throughout.

But it was his unwillingness to live in Ghana that is the biggest cause of his unpopularity.

When the founder of King Faisal FC, Alhaji Grunsah, told Stevanovic “we pay you – we want you to live in Ghana,” he was speaking the mind of many.

He also suffered from his perceived feud with AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has retired from international football – leading to accusations of poor man-management by the Serbian boss.

Having said all that, Ghana went to the Nations Cup in very confident mood and Stevanovic is adamant that the Black Stars have progressed under him. But judging by the response of the media and many fans, that may not be enough to save his job.

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