There is deep crisis at the heart of the Ghana national team ahead of this weekend’s AFCON qualifier as coach Avram Grant is maintaining his squad despite the order by the Sports Minister to change the players called.
Blundering Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye ordered the experienced coach Avram Grant, four days ago, to change his squad for Saturday’s clash against Rwanda.
The minister’s order came one week after the former Chelsea manager named his team for the Rwanda game and next week’s friendly against Russia, claiming no foreign-based players are needed for the match.
And to back his threat up, Vanderpuye according to reports has ordered the team’s travel agents not to issue tickets for the foreign-based players to come for the game.
However, Grant has refused to budge as the defiant coach is maintaining the 23-man squad he named for the game despite the absence of air tickets for the players to travel for the match.
The team is expected to start training on Monday but there are no signs of a new squad being named and no signs of players arriving.
Even though the team has qualified for the AFCON and the clash with Rwanda being a mere formality, the match offers the coach the only change of testing his place just four weeks before they start their qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup which makes Saturday’s game important.
Also with three months advance knowledge that the game against Rwanda was mere formality, the minister waited until after the squad had been named before he gave his orders with just one week before the match which shows he has other motives than his claims of saving money.
This is an indication that the minister is clearly bent on tearing down the successes and the structures that have ensured the Black Stars successes over the past ten years.
The development is the latest of the minister’s disastrous handling of national football team issues as he has taken his personal vendetta with the GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi to another level.
The minister has been spurred on by chats on some Whatsapp groups of people opposed to current federation to carry out its targeting of the Black Stars for destruction even though his key target to Kwesi Nyantakyi.
There has been tension between the Football Association of Ghana the Ministry in recent times and this move could bring the already frosty relationship to an all time low.
The GFA has been at loggerheads with the Minister since he took charge about four months ago and the federation sees his posturing as his long held ambition to take over the running of football in Ghana.
Since he took over Nii Lante has subjected the federation to various attacks until recently when the GFA decided to respond to claims most of which has been described as ‘lies’
Nii Lante is among the group of people belonging to the ruling NDC party in 2010 who were named as part of the cabal seeking to overthrow the GFA leadership through an illegal coup.