FORMER Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Chris Hughton has taken up the challenge of preventing the Super Eagles from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after formally accepting an offer from the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to coach the Black Stars.
In the final qualification round for Qatar 2022, the Black Stars of Ghana will host the Super Eagles of Nigeria on 22 March, with the second leg coming up in Abuja six days later. In what is being dubbed the jollof derby, the two West African neighbours are set to lock horns in what is becoming an increasingly tense affair.
Mr Hughton, 63, who signed Leon Balogun for Brighton in 2018 has now formally taken up the position of Black Stars manager after the GFA sacked Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac following a disappointing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign. At the tournament, Ghana finished bottom of a group behind Morocco, Gabon and Comoros.
A former Tottenham Hotspurs player, Hughton, who has a Ghanaian father, was recently sacked as Nottingham Forest’s boss and over the course of his career has managed Newcastle, Norwich, Brighton and Spurs. Nigeria is likely to be managed by former Super Eagle Augustine Eguavoen during the play-off.
Already, Mr Hughton has got Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi to agree to play for Ghana when the Black Stars face the Super Eagles. Mr Hughton also plans to meet with Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey and Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu soon, to convince them to play for Ghana in the play-offs.