Returnee coach of Ghana Senior team, the Black Stars, Mr. Kwesi Appiah has been charged to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. “Kwesi Appiah should qualify Ghana to AFCON 2019 and win it,” Ghana FA vice-president George Afriyie said at Appiah’s unveiling ceremony in Accra on Tuesday. “That is the target given to him and we all hope he will be able to do that.”
The Black Stars have not won the continent’s flagship tournament since beating Libya in a penalty shoot-out in Tripoli in 1982. A former international defender, the 56-year-old has returned as Ghana coach on a two-year contract replacing Israeli Avram Grant. Since leaving the Black Stars, Appiah had been coaching Sudanese side Al Khartoum.
Ghana begin their 2019 qualifying campaign against Ethiopia next month, and Appiah has vowed not to repeat the mistakes that led to his dismissal after the 2014 World Cup, a tournament damaged by a bonus row. “I’ve learnt a lot; there were so many mistakes I believe I made and I won’t repeat them.” He also insisted that the country’s 2018 World Cup dream is still alive despite a precarious qualifying position.
The Black Stars have earned just one point out of a possible six so far and are five points behind Group E leaders Egypt. Appiah also made it clear that he was ready to extend an olive branch to Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng provided their club form warranted it. Boateng, who plays for Spanish side Las Palmas and Muntari, who is based in Italy with Pescara, were suspended from the national team indefinitely in 2014.
Muntari was frozen out for his “unprovoked physical attack” on a Ghana FA official during the disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign. Boateng, meanwhile, was banished from the team for verbally abusing the returning coach. However, Appiah said the door was open for the duo to return. “If they are doing well, why not? I’ll always want the best for Ghana.”