Former Ghana Football Association technical director Francis Oti Akenteng has advised GFA to give proper attention to juvenile football in order to achieve similar success to that of Senegal.
Senegal has been a dominant force in African football recently, achieving remarkable success in various competitions. They won their first-ever Afcon title in early 2022 and followed it up by winning the 2022 CHAN with their locally-based team, defeating hosts Algeria in the final earlier this year. Their Beach Soccer team also clinched their seventh title by triumphing over Egypt to lift the Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations trophy last year.
Furthermore, over the weekend, Sengeal were crowned champions of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations, beating Gambia 2-0 at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt. Senegal’s impressive performance in multiple football tournaments indicates their prowess and potential to dominate the African football scene.
Oti Akenteng, who previously worked as a technical director for the GFA, says that Ghana started a promising project that was on the verge of yielding results. However, over-prioritising the Black Stars has been the obstacle to success.
“With proper planning, things will go on well. With the Senegal story, in 2015 we [GFA] and Senegal together with some African countries started some with national U15.
“They [Senegal] continued with a blueprint for developing and implementing policies that started with the juveniles.
“But ours is not the same. We wanted to start from the top [Black Stars] and achieve all success at instantly but it doesn’t work like that,” Oti Akenteng told Akoma FM.
He, however, noted that the GFA have started a similar project which will need consistency to produce the desired results.
“We must rather start with the colts before we get to the elite, and plan well as we had some developmental plans in the past (Ben Kofi era), and during my tenure, we continued by reshaping them. The current FA has started something and they should strengthen it well, surely we shall achieve the same,” he added.