Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Zimbabwe/ Ghana: Zifa Mourns Ben Koufie

Sports Reporter ZIFA yesterday joined the world in mourning the death of former Warriors coach and technical advisor Ben Koufie who died in his home country, Ghana, on Monday.

He was 84. The association's president Philip Chiyangwa sent a message of condolences to the Ghana Football Association and the global football fraternity after hearing of the sad news.

Koufie died at the Korle Bu Hospital on Monday. He worked as ZIFA technical advisor from 1981 to 1982 and also coached the Warriors from 1988 to 1992.

Koufie was president of Ghana Football Association from 2001 to 2003.
"The Zimbabwe Football Association has learnt with great consternation and immense sadness of the passing away of Ben Koufie, the former technical advisor of the Zimbabwe Football Association, former Warriors coach, former president of the Ghana Football Association and legendary coach," Chiyangwa told the association's website www.zifa.org.zw.
Ben Koufie
"Ben Koufie was a great coach with extraordinary coaching skills. He worked tenaciously for Zimbabwean Football and the association is saddened by the loss of such an intelligent coach and coaching instructor.

"On behalf of the ZIFA Executive Committee, the ZIFA Assembly, the entire football family and on my own behalf, I extend deepest condolences to the bereaved Koufie family, the Ghana Football Association and the global football fraternity during this painful period.

"Our thoughts are with you during this difficult moment. May the family find comfort in the Lord Almighty. May his soul rest in eternal peace," said Chiyangwa.

According to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) website www.ghanafa.org, Koufie trained as a coach in the former Czechoslovakia at the Nymburk Sports College in 1961.
He progressed with his education in the same year in West Germany at the Cologne Sport Hoch Schule where he trained as a football coach and attained a First Class Diploma -- DHFK. He proceeded to East Germany in 1964 where he excelled and was awarded a certificate for Gold Medal as Best Student.
Koufie attained the English Football Association Coaching Certificate in June 1970 at County Durham and attended a Senior Coaches Clinic at Lilleshal, England in the same year.

The late Koufie was a highly respected FIFA/CAF coaching instructor, who has trained many coaches in Ghana, Africa and the world. He also served on the CAF Technical committee and chaired Ghana's Technical Committee for years.

Koufie received national honours (Grand Medal) for distinguished service to Ghana in July 2006 from President JA Kufuor and was selected for Ghana's Hall of Fame for his unquestionable distinction as a player, coach, instructor and administrator. As president of the GFA, Koufie is best remembered for instituting the five-year development, which is regarded as a foundation for Ghana's resurgence in African football.

In Zimbabwean football circles, Koufie will also be famously remembered for his assertion that "Even if you bring a coach from the moon, Zimbabwe will never qualify for the big tournaments".

The Ghanaian's statement was interpreted as a curse on the Zimbabwean game, but he later explained that he had made the remarks in frustration at the lack of proper development structures at ZIFA.

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