Chris Hughton: The 4 Possible Coaching Replacements for Ghana After Painful AFCON 2023 Exit

Chris Hughton: The 4 Possible Coaching Replacements for Ghana After Painful AFCON 2023 Exit

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at January 24, 2024 at 7:35 AM
In this article:
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  • Chris Hughton has suffered the axe as head coach of Ghana
  • The 65-year-old was sacked hours after Ghana's early AFCON exit
  • Here are four top candidates that are likely to replace him

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) officially severed ties with Black Stars coach Chris Hughton on Tuesday, January 23, marking the end of his tenure just shy of a year.

The tipping point occurred during Ghana's final Group B match, where the team relinquished a two-goal lead to draw with Mozambique, leading to an untimely exit from the 2023 AFCON without a victory.

Chris Hughton, Ghana, Tom Saintfiet, Black Stars, George Boateng, Herve Renard
Tom Saintfiet, George Boateng and Herve Renard are among the top candidates likely to replace Chris Hughton. Photos by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD, Nick Potts/PA Images and Justin Setterfield.
Source: Getty Images

The GFA's Executive Council made the decision to terminate the relationship with Hughton and his coaching staff, as communicated by a statement on the official website.

As the coaching position is now vacant and with upcoming fixtures in the 2026 World Cup and 2025 AFCON Qualifiers, Sports Brief explores four potential candidates for the Black Stars' managerial role.

4. Milutin Sredojević

Ghana's historical affinity for Serbian coaches positions Sredojević, simply referred to as Micho, as a likely contender for the now-vacant Black Stars managerial role.

The current head coach of Libya has established a solid reputation as a top manager on the African continent and has previously expressed interest in the Ghana coaching job.

Given Ghana's relatively positive experiences with Serbian managers, as seen with Hughton and Otto Addo's challenges in devising a defensive strategy, Micho could potentially provide the solution.

3. George Boateng

In the wake of Chris Hughton's departure, there are strong indications that George Boateng, one of Hughton's assistants, might step into the role of head coach for the Ghanaian national team.

Boateng, who opted to represent the Netherlands despite his Ghanaian lineage, has long been associated with the coaching position for the Black Stars, and the vacancy left by Hughton's exit could provide the ideal opportunity for his appointment.

With a potential emphasis on continuity, Boateng, aged 48, could be a suitable candidate, especially considering his close connections with the current GFA boss, Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku.

2. Herve Renard

Ghana has harboured a longstanding admiration for Herve Renard, the accomplished French tactician renowned for securing AFCON titles with two different nations: Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015—a feat unmatched by any other manager, per Soka54.

Interestingly, Renard previously served as a physical trainer under Claude Le Roy during Ghana's 2008 AFCON campaign.

Despite his undeniable coaching prowess, highlighted by defeating World Cup winner Argentina in the 2022 Mundial, the potential union with Ghana has been hindered by Renard's reportedly high wage demands.

Is now the opportune moment for this alliance to materialize?

1. Tom Saintfiet

If Herve Renard proves to be a high-end acquisition, the pragmatic and cost-effective alternative, with tactical sensibility in mind, could be settling for Saintfiet.

The relatively unknown Belgian coach has gained recognition for transforming The Gambia's fortunes, guiding them to consecutive AFCON qualifications.

When Saintfiet assumed control in July 2018, The Gambia was ranked 168th globally, but the 50-year-old leaves having elevated their position to 126th.

Considering his recent resignation after Gambia's exit from the 2023 AFCON and Ghana's decision to part ways with Hughton, this potential partnership might be a harmonious fit.

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Fans react after Hughton's sack

Sports Brief also reported that the Ghana Football Association (GFA) promptly took action by dismissing head coach Chris Hughton from his role after the Black Stars' inability to progress to the knockout stage of the 2023 AFCON.

The announcement of Hughton's departure in the early hours of Tuesday garnered approval from fans who expressed satisfaction with the GFA's decision to part ways with the former Newcastle United manager.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.