Ghanaian soccer fans disappointed with exit of national team coach
Monday, September 13, 2021 7:57 PM

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ACCRA, Sep. 13, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The decision by the Serbian coach to leave the Ghana national soccer team has disappointed Ghanaian fans, who said that it was unfair for the team and fans.

Milovan Rajevac signed a one-year 4.5 million U.S. dollars contract last Thursday with Al Ahly Jeddah of the wealthy Saudi Arabia after leading the Black Stars for two years.

Rajevac did not explain the reasons for his refusal to renew his contract with the Ghana Football Association (GFA), which expired on August 17, but insiders said that the Serbian coach was also disappointed with the indiscipline of the Black Stars.

"This is a bitter disappointment to football loving fans in the country. I cannot understand how he could leave the team at such a period and circumstance. He treated us unfairly," Sam Antwi, freelance sports journalist told Xinhua on Monday.

Sports programs on local radios here have been inundated with soccer fans expressing divergent opinions about Milovan Rajevac's decision not to renew his contract with the GFA.

Rajevac was invited to coach the Black Stars following the departure of Frenchman Claude Leroy immediately after the African Nations Cup held in Ghana in August 2008.

However, Smith Johnson, a banker, told Xinhua that the exit of Rajevac was a good omen for the future success of the national soccer team although he was disappointed with his departure.

"When would our FA realize that these foreign coaches use Black Stars to color their CVs (NYSE:CVS) and then leave moments after chalking victory with our already matured and talented football players? We need to look within for the next Stars' coach to carry us through to the Nations Cup qualifiers and other international competitions and win laurels for the nation," he said.

Another fan, Kakraba Essandoh, disagreed, saying that Rajevac's withdraw could affect the future of both the current crop of players of the Black Stars and the nation at large.

"Rajevac's departure would affect the fortunes of the Black Stars. This is a coach who had a good working relationship with all the players. The players believe in him. His tactics worked for us on the field and had made Ghana one of the icons of international football," he said emotionally.

"I cannot fathom why the FA delayed in getting him to append his signature to the new deal. It would take a while for the players to adapt to the tactics and style of play of the new coach. The player would have to start all over again to practice a new system of play. For how long will this pendulum swing continue?"

Though the Ghanaian FA had reportedly offered him a new four-year deal, Rajevac rejected it and instead signed for the Saudi club for one year with an option of a renewal.

Rajevac raised the hopes and expectations of officials of Ghana's soccer governing body that he was committed to signing a new contract with the West Africans.

The trainer's decision to sign for the Saudis has also infuriated his manager Goran Milovanovic who had vowed to report the issue to FIFA.

The coach has a running contract with his manager but broke off ranks to travel to Jeddah with a British agent Alexander Wallis.

With Rajevac's exit, Ghanaian soccer authorities have begun to search for a new trainer before the end of the month when the Black Stars would face the Sudan in a two-leg nations cup qualifier on October 10.

Rajevac took a relatively young Black Stars to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and also led the team to the quarter-finals of the World Cup last July in South Africa, setting off calls from fans and players for the extension of his contract.

He also took Ghana to a second place in the maiden edition of African Nations Championships (CHAN), the continental tournament for footballers plying their trade on Africa.

Ghana has won the African Cup of Nations four times in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982 with native coaches.



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