CK Akonnor
C.K. Akonor

Ghana Football Association (GFA) president, Kurt Okraku, has denied media speculations that he influences player selection in the Black Stars, insisting head coach Charles Akonnor is in full control of the senior national team.

Mr Okraku, who has been in charge of Ghana football since October 2019, has been accused of frustrating the work of coach Akonnor. It is said that Mr Okraku forces coach Akonnor to invite his players.

But on this Saturday’s edition of the Joy Sports Link, the experienced football administrator denied the rumours, saying “Nobody imposes players on Charles Akonnor.”

He reiterated his claim to assure Ghanaians that the Black Stars boss has been given the freedom to operate, contrary to media speculations.

Mr Okraku explained that: “Call-ups for all national teams go through processes and these people [Ghanaians] must understand. Gone were those days where one person will wake up one day and there is a call-up. It will never happen again.

“The coach and his team will work with the technical directorate to pick up a squad and if they are convinced about the squad, they need to convince the management of the team about the squad.

“Finally, there will always be a meeting, some I may attend or any other I pick to attend, and when there is a consensus the squad is announced by the head trainer. This is a system that is administered everywhere in the world.”

He, however, added that: “If a coach wants a player, the player comes”.

Mr Okraku added that he has a great relationship with coach Akonnor, with the two having previously worked together at Ghana Premier League outfit Dreams FC.

And that, he and his Executive Council trust the judgement of coach Akonnor, saying: “If we [GFA Executive Council] don’t [trust the judgement of Akonnor], he will not be there.”

Coach Akonnor is the first Black Stars coach appointed by the Okraku-led GFA administration. He was handed the job in January 2020 after the association decided not to renew the mandate of Kwesi Appiah.

Since his appointment, Mr Akonnor has been involved in six games. He has recorded three wins, two defeats and a draw.

Last month, he secured qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament to be staged in Cameroon next year.

Mr Akonnor has been tasked to win the trophy and end Ghana’s 40 years trophy drought.