CK Akonnor
C.K. Akonor

Sam Johnson, a former Ghana international, has charged new Black Stars coach, C.K. Akonnor to do away with favouritism if he wants to be successful.

The former Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak gaffer has replaced Kwesi Appiah on a two-year deal.

“I am personally happy because we can take care of our own affairs as far as football is concerned,” Johnson told Goal.

“He knows African football very well and will ensure to put discipline in the team. He can do the job. If C.K. could coach Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko and Ashanti Gold then he has seen it all.

“But we must acknowledge that the quality of players we have in the team is not as high as 10 years ago. It will take time for him to build up the team to that level. That also has to start with building a strong local base of players,” he said.

The 45-year-old is currently on a tour in Europe on scouting mission as he readies to name his first squad ahead of a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Sudan next month.

Mr Johnson added that “it’s up to him to ensure a good blend of both good foreign and locally-based players; not his own personal favourites unless of course his favourites are the best for the team.

“He should choose the best players because I don’t think anybody took money from him during his playing days with the Black Stars.

“He should also not allow other people to interfere in his call-ups.”

After 38 years of failing to win the Africa Cup of Nations, coach Akonnor has been tasked by the Ghana Football Association to win Africa’s prestigious tournament in Cameroon next year.

The last time Ghana won the ultimate was in 1982 in Libya.

“It is too early to tell if C.K. can lead us to win Afcon,” Mr Johnson added.

“Let’s see how he fares in the qualifiers, then we can assess his chances,” he said.

He has held discussions with some foreign-based players of Ghanaian descent about the possibility of pledging their international allegiance to Ghana.

Coach Akonnor has called on the likes of Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Jeffrey Schlupp, Christian Atsu and Daniel Amartey during his tour.

Last week, he met French-born Elisha Owusu and the Anderlecht duo of Francis Amuzu and Jeremy Doku, who both currently play for Belgium at youth level, having earlier met English-born Tariq Fosu.

Reports say home-based players such as Joseph Esso of Hearts of Oak and Justice Blay of Asante Kotoko are also likely to be handed a first call-up.