While many felt Avram Grant has shown remorse for asking Ghanaians to “stop the bullshit and concentrate on the football,” the Israeli insists he has not.
Following Ghana’s home win against Mozambique in Afcon 2017 qualifying, the gaffer courted the ire of Ghanaians who had been asking for more of his presence at local football games. “If this nation focus on the football and not bullshit, just the football because there is a lot of passion, we can go higher, high level. It is a long-term target, but it is very much achievable.”
Predictably, the ensuing Easter break was filled with analysis of his comments and demands from the Ghana FA to call him to order. On Easter Sunday, Ghana went to Mozambique and drew 0-0 in a tepid affair, after which the local media began an exercise to get answers from him. Initially, the sexagenarian appeared to show remorse, saying: “First, I withdraw this word. Just the thing I will like to say is I love Ghana and I respect Ghanaians and I care about the Ghanaian team.”
Speaking to the Ghana FA Communication Division, Grant went on, “What I wanted to say is we need everybody not to focus on the unnecessary thing, only to focus about the most important thing that our leaders that can make the change can focus on the important things that can take us forward and not about negative things.”
Upon his return to Ghana, however, the gaffer clarified – when pushed by a local journalist – that his statement was not equal to an apology. “I didn’t apologise…because if you follow my career I have never insulted anybody. There was no negative meaning behind it because I use it in punditry work and at home with my kids,” Grant said.
The Israeli has come under intense criticism, including from the sports ministry. He has been accused of spending less time in Ghana to monitor the local league.