The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has announced the termination of Chris Hughton’s role as the head coach of the national team, following Ghana’s underwhelming performance at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2024. This decision also includes the dissolution of the entire technical team of the Black Stars.
Hughton, who has Ghanaian heritage, was appointed in March after initially serving as a technical advisor during the World Cup in Qatar. His tenure, however, was short-lived as Ghana’s campaign at the AFCON in Ivory Coast ended prematurely. The team finished third in Group B, securing only two points from draws with Egypt and Mozambique, the latter match concluding in a dramatic 2-2 draw.
Ghana’s journey in the tournament was fraught with challenges from the outset. They suffered a loss to Cape Verde in their opening match, which was followed by a tense encounter with fans, including an incident where an angry supporter attempted to confront Hughton. The team’s overall performance, marked by this early exit and accumulating just two points, led to the GFA’s decisive action.
The GFA, in a statement, expressed their decision to relieve Hughton of his duties with immediate effect. They also highlighted the need to restructure the team’s leadership, indicating upcoming plans for the Black Stars’ future direction.
Chris Hughton’s coaching journey with Ghana was not without its difficulties. Prior to AFCON, the team experienced a disheartening loss to Comoros in a World Cup qualifier in November. During his time in charge, Hughton managed four wins in 13 matches. Despite these setbacks, his contribution to Ghanaian football, especially given his heritage and previous success as a manager in clubs like Brighton and Newcastle, was notable.
As for Hughton’s future, there is speculation about his potential involvement with the Republic of Ireland’s managerial position. His departure from the Ghana national team follows another coaching change in the tournament, with Tom Saintfiet of Gambia stepping down after his team finished at the bottom of their group.
The GFA’s decision underscores the high expectations and pressures associated with national team performances in significant tournaments like AFCON. As Ghana looks ahead, the focus will now shift to rebuilding and preparing for future challenges under new leadership.