With only a few hours before the year 2020 comes to an end, it is only proper and prudent to filter through our archives and bring you some of the biggest sporting stories of the year.
The sports industry suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic and indeed the struggle continues with new cases of the disease forcing another shutdown and lockdowns in certain parts of the world. Nonetheless, in Ghana, the stories below caught the attention of sports-loving fans.
C.K Akonnor appointed Black Stars coach
While 2020 has been a turbulent year for many including C.K Akonnor, it is also easy to understand why this could be easily his best year as far as his coaching career is concerned. Why?
Because the Ghana Football Association (GFA) appointed Charles ‘CK’ Akonnor as its new national team coach to replace Kwesi Appiah.
Akonnor is a former captain of Ghana and spent much of his playing career in Germany with stints at Fortuna Koln and Wolfsburg among others.
Akonnor was part of Appiah’s coaching staff with the Black Stars.
He has also taken charge of clubs in Ghana, including the country’s two best-supported teams Hearts of Oak and recently Asante Kotoko.
Thomas Partey signs for Arsenal
After years of hard work and consistency, Partey got the move that will improve his financial earnings and cement his place as one of the best midfielders in the world. The Ghana International made a big-money move to English side Arsenal who triggered his £45m release clause.
Partey signed a long-term deal at the Emirates after he completed his medical and paperwork just before the 11 pm deadline on transfer deadline day in October.
Before his joined Arsenal, Partey had been a key player in Diego Simeone’s midfield since breaking into the first team from Atletico’s academy in 2015.
Kotoko appoint Nana Yaw Amponsah as CEO
After years of media tours where he touted his credentials as a young man with the ability to change the face and fortunes of Ghana football, Nana Yaw Amponsah got his big break in administration. He was appointed by Kumasi Asante Kotoko have as the club’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Amponsah was unveiled at a ceremony at the Sports Hotel in Kumasi on August 7, 2020. Kotoko have been without a CEO for the past three months after the new Board of Directors dissolved the George Amoako-led administration.
The 2019 GFA presidential aspirant has since been tasked with overseeing one of Ghana’s biggest clubs for the next three years.
Amponsah, who was the Chairman of Division One club, Phar Rangers FC, resigned from his position ahead of his appointment as the new CEO of Kotoko.
GFA cancels 2019/2020 Ghana Premier League season
One of the hardest decisions for the Ghana FA led by Kurt Okraku was the decision to cancel the 2019/2020 league season. This was a new FA boss eager to #BringBackTheLove and less the 3 months into the campaign, he had to pull the stops on it due to the surge in the coronavirus infections in Ghana.
But on June 30, 2020, after an over 5 hours long Executive Council meeting, the GFA reached a decision and disclosed the information on their official Twitter page. Football in the country had been suspension since March, as part of government’s measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The GFA had been under pressure to provide clarity on the current football season, following the outbreak of the virus.
Osei Palmer loses CAS case over GFA election disqualification
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this year brought finality to one of the most controversial cases involving Tema Youth owner Wilfred Kwaku Osei(Palmer) and the Ghana FA. Palmer had turned to CAS to nullify the Ghana FA election which brought Kurt Okraku to power in 2019.
Palmer was disqualified from contesting the FA presidential race in October 2019 for allegedly breaching financial regulations following the transfer of a player of his club.
He, therefore, sought refuge at CAS to overturn the decision for a fresh election to be held once he is declared eligible.
However, in its September 1, 2020 ruling, CAS backed the disqualification of Palmer from contesting the GFA presidential race, giving credence to the current leadership structure Ghana.
Asamoah Gyan joins Legon Cities
One of the biggest stories in 2020 was the return of former Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan to the domestic league.
After almost two decades abroad, Gyan who once played for Liberty Professionals decided that he was going to end his career at home.
Talks had advanced with Asante Kotoko and it appeared a done deal that he was going to join the Porcupine Warriors until both parties failed to agree on the financial package of the deal.
With Kotoko adamant to meet the demands of the player, Ghana Premier League new boys Legon Cities Football Club confirmed the signing of former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan.
Gyan, 34, joins the Royals on a loan deal worth in a deal which according to reports was in excess of $1 million.
According to his manager, Sammy Anim Addo, the player was enticed by the financial offer and other incentives that were offered him by the club owned by businessman, Richard King Atikpo, Board Chairman of the Lemla Group which comprises Legon Cities FC, Gulf Energy, Lemla Energy, Lemla Veterinary Services, Tomrich Mines and Construction, and Airtech.
‘Kick’ boxer Patrick Allotey arrested
Another big story in the year 2020. Perhaps it was a glimpse of what was to come later in the year.
WBO Africa Super welterweight champion, Patrick Allotey, was arrested by the Ministries Police in Accra in January 2020.
This was after the boxer was captured in a video inflicting punches on Asante Kotoko fan Michael Siaw who was celebrating Kotoko’s 2-1 victory over Accra Hearts of Oak.
The shameful conduct sparked outrage on social media as Mr Siaw, who was clad in a Kotoko shirt suffered a deep cut on after being handed the heavy punches by the boxer.
The incident started when Allotey was asking the fan to move away since he appeared to be blocking his view. Michael Siaw refused at which point Allotey is seen removing a headset around his neck and he begins to push the spectator.
In the video, the professional boxer who lost his last fight against Mexican Jaime Munguia, delivered three quick stiff jabs to the face of Siaw.
This plunged him to the ground where he struggled to get back up. He sustained a wound under his left eye and had to be stitched.