Ghana Orders National Team Coach Avram Grant Home From Europe TV Work

Israeli coach accused of 'taking the nation for granted' ahead of March's African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Avram Grant with Ghana captain Andrew Ayew after African Cup of Nations quarterfinal match with Guinea, Feb. 1, 2015.
AP

REUTERS - Ghana coach Avram Grant has been ordered to return to the country by the local football association to concentrate on his job ahead of African Nations Cup qualifiers this month rather than appearing as a pundit on British television.

One parliamentarian, Kojo Baah Agyemang, said the former Chelsea and West Ham boss had been "taking the nation for granted", telling a radio station it was unacceptable to spend his time out of the of country.

"We have ordered him to return from Europe to monitor the local league," Ghana Football Association spokesman Ibrahim Sannie told Reuters on Thursday.

The GFA says Grant should be watching local football matches to unearth talent rather than serving as a pundit on Sky Sports.

Ghana take on Mozambique in the African Nations Cup qualifiers home and away on March 24 and March 27, and Grant is expected back in the country soon to work with the squad in the lead up to the matches.

"The matches against Mozambique are approaching and we need him," Sannie said.

Grant is not the first manager of an African national side to be criticized for spending time in Europe, and many defend their stays on the grounds that it allows them to easily monitor Ghanaian players based there.

Several national players are with Premier League sides, including Chelsea left back Baba Rahman and Daniel Amartey, who joined league toppers Leicester City in January.

Grant could not be immediately reached for comment.

Israeli-born Grant took over as Ghana coach in late 2014 and within months led the Black Stars to a place in the final of the 2015 African Nations Cup where they lost to Ivory Coast on penalties. The 61-year-old was the Israeli national team coach from 2002 to 2006, and was first director of football at Chelsea and then took charge of the first team at Stamford Bridge in September 2007 alongside Steve Clarke, replacing Jose Mourinho. The spell was over eight months later without any silverware.