Ghana fans demand reform after Cup of Nations flop

The protesters marched through the main streets to show their frustration over the Black Stars' poor performances at recent major tournaments

Reuters
Published : 15 Feb 2024, 03:50 AM
Updated : 15 Feb 2024, 03:50 AM

Hundreds of soccer fans took to the streets of Ghana's capital Accra on Wednesday, demanding better governance for football after their team failed to get out of the group stage at this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

Clad in black and red T-shirts saying "Save Ghana football" and holding placards, the protesters marched through the main streets to show their frustration over the Black Stars' poor performances at recent major tournaments.

Ghana, four-times Nations Cup champions but not since 1982, have qualified for four World Cups and reached the quarter-finals in 2010.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) sacked coach Chris Hughton last month after the team finished third in Group B at the Nations Cup with two points in three matches.

Hughton, whose father hailed from Ghana, took over as coach in March. He won only four of his 13 matches in charge and had been under pressure going into the Cup of Nations.

The GFA, led by Kurt Okraku, is now recruiting its fifth Blacks Stars coach in five years.

"Ghana football today is facing a dark spell in its history, an unprecedented moment that has brought global embarrassment to the brand that used to make all of us, home and abroad mighty proud," the protesters said in a petition submitted to Parliament.

They demanded that President Nana Akufo-Addo launch an investigation into Ghana's participation in the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Cup of Nations, after alleging corruption and wasteful spending by the GFA during the tournaments.

They also called for a national football policy, increased investment in grassroots football, and improvements to the local league.

"The clarion call is that we have a unique opportunity as a nation to make changes to our current structure that runs our football in our quest to whip the game back to where it belongs," the petition said.

"Football belongs to us, not the GFA," Saddick Adams, one of the lead conveners, said.

The GFA was not immediately available for comment.