Ghana Coach CK Akonnor Sets Sight On Changing Afcon History
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Ghana coach CK Akonnor has targeted winning the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) to leave a legacy at the West African nation.
The Black Stars have endured a series of near misses since winning the last of their four titles in 1982. The first three trophies came in 1963,1965 and 1978.
Akonnor took over the reins in January, replacing James Kwasi Appiah. “It’s not about me. It’s about us,” Akonnor told TV3.
“Over 30 years we’ve not won Afcon. I don’t want to be just another coach who comes in to manage Ghana and goes and then it’s the same story.
“I want us to work and make an impact, be relevant.”
Despite five months in office, Akonnor is yet to lead Ghana into action owing to the turbulent coronavirus disruptions.
The Black Stars were billed to take on Sudan in 2021 Afcon qualifying double-header in March but the match had to be canceled.
The coach had called up a 23-man squad for the back-to-back games. “I am still working, [despite the disruptions],” Akonnor said.
“I’ve been keeping track of players, inconstant communication with them, and waiting for when we have the go-ahead.”
The former Ghana and Wolfsburg captain, who has coached Ghana’s two biggest clubs, Asante Kotoko and Hearts also shed some light on his personality.
“Yes, I am a disciplined person.
“My time, I don’t joke with it. When we agree five and you show up at six then it’s a problem and I won’t shy away from letting you know.
“People tend to view that as quick temper and arrogance.”
Ghana has set its sight on breaking a 39-year trophyless drought to win Afcon in Cameroon next year.
In 1992, the Black Stars finished second, losing to Cote d’Ivoire in a penalty shoot-out. In 1996, Ghana reached the semi-finals again, this time placing fourth after falling to Zambia in a third-place play-off.
The West Africans finished third and second respectively in 2008 and 2010 before making consecutive fourth-placed appearances at Gabon/Equatorial Guinea in 2012 and South Africa 2013.
At Equatorial Guinea 2015, Ghana, under former Chelsea coach Avram Grant, came mighty close once again, this time losing to Cote d’Ivoire on penalties in the final.
In 2017, the Black Stars ended the tournament in the fourth position but failed to make the quarter-finals of the championship for the first time since 2006 at Egypt 2019 where they succumbed to Tunisia on penalties in the Round of 16.