Unraveling riddles behind Laryea, FA turbulence

Unraveling riddles behind Laryea, FA turbulence

Laryea Kingston and FA President, Kurt Okraku

 Events in three major sports including football and boxing have kept Ghanaian sports faithful spellbound, following attentively their outcomes which would determine Ghana’s participation or otherwise in major upcoming events.

The first is the ongoing West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone B U-17 championship at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium which Ghana’s Black Starlets were kicked out at the semi-final stage by a determined Burkina Faso side.

Secondly, the Road to Paris 2024 Boxing Championship in Bangkok, Thailand is one boxing fans are following to monitor the progress of the Black Bombers.

They need to secure some of the 51 allotted places for the Paris 2024 Olympics expected to take place in a few months’ time.

Then comes the Ghana Premier League (GPL) on its last stretch. For the second consecutive time, major traditional and city rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak and Accra Great Olympics are heavily involved in an interesting battle to avoid relegation.

That carries enough weight to dominate discussions on the various media platforms for the entire week.

However, a sudden Laryea Kingston outburst after the Black Starlets loss to Burkina Faso turned the scripts and swept the Hearts-Oly relegation discussion under the carpet.

Laryea, no doubt has emerged as one of the respected and confident young coaches and expected to take Ghana football by storm. His exploits with the Right to Dream Academy and the Starlets in a previous adventure made him an obvious candidate for the job.

The target was to land in the finals to guarantee qualification to the CAF U-17 Championship and subsequently qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

But the Burkina Faso hurdle proved too costly; leaving behind a dejected, disappointed, sad and disheartened young talents who obviously looked up to their coach for comfort and some consolation.

On the field of play after the match, they enjoyed that from their coach who inspired them in his play-days with Great Olympics, Hearts of Oak and the national teams.

They were, however, left shocked to the bone by the announcement of the coach’s resignation and the manner it was carried out.

The matter became murkier by an intolerant and emotional acceptance statement from the FA, raising issues over how Laryea handled his resignation when the team had a third place playoff in a few days’ time.

The FA played smart to ‘weather the storm’ by announcing assistants to take over and visited the team ahead of the Tuesday (May 28) bronze medal playoff against Nigeria.

Without knowing the exact issues that got Laryea infuriated, he has been ‘hanged’ already on reasons bordering on his temperament. Yes, I am tempted to side with the judges presiding on the matter handled in a court of public opinion.

No matter what may have angered him, he could have proved his critics wrong by going about his resignation in a decent manner rather than abandoning the team and his post-match duties including the meeting with the team’s management committee which he reports directly to.

Clearly, his action will deny him a platform through which his grievances can reach the FA for solutions.

That, however, does not also exonerate the FA because clearly, it goofed with the tone of its statement and their action creating a platform for a ‘buga-buga’ analysis of the matter.

 By Andrew Nortey

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