Black Stars Fail to Secure Victory in Ivory Coast, Culminating in Immediate Departure of Head Coach
Ghana has parted ways with manager Chris Hughton in the aftermath of their winless Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign, with a disastrous 2-2 draw against Mozambique sealing the fate of the 65-year-old coach. The Ghana Football Association issued a succinct three-sentence statement announcing Hughton’s immediate dismissal and the dissolution of the Black Stars’ technical team. The decision comes after Ghana’s failure to secure a victory in the group stages, marking a disappointing end to Hughton’s tenure.
Hughton, who assumed the role of head coach in February of the previous year after serving as Ghana’s technical advisor for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and finals, faced a challenging AFCON group that included Cape Verde, Egypt, and Mozambique. The Black Stars, four-time AFCON champions but without a title since 1982, suffered an unexpected 2-1 defeat to Cape Verde in their opening match, setting the tone for a troubled campaign.
The critical blow came on Monday in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Mozambique, where Ghana conceded a penalty in added time, leading to a heartbreaking equalizer from Atletico Madrid defender Reinildo. The result, combined with earlier performances, resulted in Ghana’s elimination and prompted the swift decision to relieve Hughton of his coaching duties.
The Ghana Football Association’s statement read, “The Ghana Football Association wishes to announce that Chris Hughton has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the senior National team with immediate effect. The Executive Council has also taken a decision to dissolve the technical team of the Black Stars. The Ghana Football Association will in the coming days provide a roadmap on the future direction of the Black Stars.”
Hughton, acknowledging the subpar results, stated post-match, “I take responsibility for this performance and acknowledge that my results with the Black Stars have not met expectations.” Despite having high hopes for the team’s performance, Hughton admitted disappointment in the players’ inability to achieve the anticipated growth throughout the competition, culminating in an early exit for Ghana from AFCON 2023.
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