Sport Matters: Too Black To Coach premieres on Al Jazeera English on Friday, 31 January 2014, asking why there are just three black managers at the current, 16-team Africa Cup of Nations; why there were only two black managers at the 32-team 2014 FIFA World Cup; and why there were no black managers at the beginning of the 2015 British football season, despite 25% of professional players in the Premier League being black.
“FIFA has acknowledged we have a problem,” says their vice-president Jeffrey Web.
This may be an understatement: as former AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf says, “In all the European football markets, it’s 99% white men in charge.”
Osei Kofi, whose goals helped Ghana win The Africa Cup of Nations in 1965, says the problem isn’t limited to Europe though. On the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana was without a coach, but all five shortlisted candidates were white, with the job going to Israeli Avram Grant.
“In Ghana, the officials, they believe in the white coaches more than the blacks,” says Osei. “We’ve won four times The Africa Cup of Nations, with black Ghanaian coaches. Not a single white man. If they feel that whites are the best coaches, for the past 32 years, why have they not won even one?”
Sport Matters: Too Black To Coach travels to Ghana, the UK and Switzerland to question why, with black players represented in leagues on every continent, they aren’t transitioning into management positions off the field.
Former international stars Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank and Sol Campbell share their experiences, while Sport Matters also hears from Herbert Addo, head coach at Accra Hearts of Oak, and Kwesi Ntanyaki, the president of the Ghana Football Association.
“It is changing,” says Sol, a former England captain. “But how quick it’s changing is another thing really.”
“Football is just a mirror of society,” says Seedorf, the only player to win the Champions League with three different teams. “So it means we’re not quite yet there. There’s along way to go.”