Ghana fires coach Akonnor, 3rd in African World Cup qualifiers

AP , Monday 13 Sep 2021

Charles Akonnor

The Ghana Football Association fired Charles Akonnor on Monday, the third coach to lose his job in Africa after a shaky start to World Cup qualifying.

Akonnor and assistant coaches David Duncan and Richard Kingson were dismissed a week after Ghana lost in South Africa 1-0 in a 2022 World Cup qualifier. That left Ghana second behind South Africa in their group after two games. Only the group winners progress to the playoffs for a place at the World Cup in Qatar.

Ghana plays back-to-back qualifying games next month against Zimbabwe, which fired Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic on Sunday.

Egypt, which has also made an unimpressive start to qualifying, fired Hossam el-Badry last week and replaced him two days later with former Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz.

The Ghana FA has appointed a three-man committee to find a new coaching team within 72 hours, it said. The Black Stars' next game against Zimbabwe is on Oct. 6, just three weeks away.

Ghana, Zimbabwe and Egypt are relying on their new coaches to revive their World Cup campaigns but also lead the teams at the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in January and February.

Ghana missed out on the last World Cup in Russia, the first time it failed to qualify since 2002. The team was coached by Avram Grant and then Kwesi Appiah during that unsuccessful 2018 campaign. Akonnor was appointed in January 2020.

Ghana is a four-time African champion but hasn't won the continental title since 1982. It has lost three African Cup finals since then.

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