WC Qualification Africa

Why Kwasi Appiah has been away from elite football after last Ghana stint

20:06 SAST 2022/04/25
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah 2
The ex-Black Stars boss shares reasons for his time away from coaching at the highest level

Former Ghana boss James Kwasi Appiah has opened up about life as an elite football coach, revealing how some of the associated pressures of handling the national team could prove costly.

The 61-year-old has been away from the limelight since ending a spell as head coach of the Black Stars between 2017 and 2019.

Currently, he works as head coach of the Ghanaian youth side Kenpong Football Academy.

“There are so many pressures you deal with at the national team level - some with the GFA [Ghana Football Association], clubs, agents, and the players themselves coming with their egos, and so if you don’t take a break [and] you want to stay under this pressure, you will die,” Appiah said on Untold Stories TV GH.

“When I used to be up there [coaching at an elite level], as I am sitting with you now chatting, my mind would have been somewhere else. You don’t have the time to concentrate on the things around you.

“You are always planning tactics and how to beat an opponent. It’s not something I will advise someone to get there. People sometimes think the national team is easy and they can just walk in there, but the pressure in it is not advisable [to take on].”

Ghana assistant coach between 2007 and 2012, Appiah rose to take up the mantle as head coach in 2012, qualifying the Black Stars for both the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup.

At the continental showpiece in South Africa, Ghana finished fourth. At the world gathering in Brazil, the Black Stars suffered a first-round elimination, the first time they failed to go past the group stage in the history of the competition.

After leaving the Black Stars job in 2014, Appiah was shortly appointed head coach of Sudanese side Al Khartoum, managing the club until 2017 when he returned to take the Ghana job for a second spell.

His second stint also did no go as planned as he was let go at the end of his contract after Ghana suffered a Round of 16 elimination at the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt.