Details Article On How Ohene Djan Help The Ghanaian Sports Administration To Won So Many Medals
Ohene Djan was not only in soccer; he was in athletics as well. One of their earliest undertakings just after the assumption of office was to send a number of locally distinguished athletics (N. A. Adjin-Tetteh, J. A. Antwi, and Lawton Ackah-Yensu) for coaching courses in West Germany. These coaches returned to assist in athletics development in the country. In West African and African competitions, Ghanaian athletes and boxers showed their class. The height of their glory was attained when at the 1960 Olympics Games in Rome, Ike Quartey won Ghana’s first silver medal in boxing.
From Rome to Perth for the 1962 Commonwealth Games, the push given the boys set them for greater heights. Mike Ahey turned out a record jump, just a few inches below the world record, to win the Gold Medal in a long jump. The country’s 4 x 100 meters Quartet won a silver Medal, clocking the same time as triumphant England. The boxers also won two gold and four Silver Medals.
He was grooming his team of footballers, athletes, and boxers in anticipation of the 1966 Commonwealth Games and 1968 Mexico Olympics when the 1966 coup stalled his effort, gold and other medals at the 1966 Kingston Commonwealth Games, it was in the reckoning of many sports enthusiasts that the team could have won more medals if Ohene Djan had been present. H. P. Nyemitei, a sports administrator of repute, pointed out that “if Ohene Djan had remained in office a little longer, a world record would have been set by the ace sprinter, Stan Allotey, at the 1968 Mexico Olympics games”.
Of the total of thirty-seven (12 Gold, 13 silver, and 3 bronze) Commonwealth Games Medal won by Ghana as of 1992, half that number (8 Gold, 7 Silver, and 3 Bronze) were earned during Ohene Djan’s six-year period as Director of Sports.
Ohene Djan’s secret to winning medals lay in his total commitment to his work, and his ability to encourage and motivate sportsmen to achieve the best. At very crucial football matches, one would see him on the touchline cheering the players. When the going becomes tough, he could shout “MKK”, – the name of the business store he owned-to signifies that additional bonus awaited players who at that crucial moment exerted themselves more. Ohene Djan’s dynamism also sent Ghana into the international sporting administration arena.
He took Ghana into the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and overnight propelled the country into effective leadership of the continental body. As first vice-president of the CAF, he represented the continent on the Executive Council of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). On the world football controlling body, he served on various committees, including the Emergency, Disciplinary and Consultative. Sir Stanley Rous, for many years FIFA President, was so enthused with Ohene Djan’s contribution that he once remarked:
He (Ohene Djan) is a valued member of the international council, a clear thinker, and a lucid argumentation. He has a firm grip on problems associate with football promotion and development. His solution to Africa’s problems is, particularly, excellent and dependable. He is a useful asset to football development in Africa.
Ohene Djan’s dynamism and personal ability in propelling Ghana Sports to great heights made him swollen-headed and dictatorial in his behavior. His attitude was to cost the country a world title championship belt in the infamous Floyd Robertson and Sugar Ramos boxing contest. According to the Ghanaian Times, it was his (Ohene Djan’s) “fraudulent overlords” and “insatiable lust for power” (which) did not give the (GBA Professional) any breathing space to act that led to the robbing of Floyd Robertson.
Ohene Djan’s membership of GFA, CAF, and FIFA was terminated by the 1966 coup makers. But even as a private man he continued to associate himself with sports development and administration as a volunteer. He at various times served as a member of the governing council of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Accra Hearts of Oak, Nsawam Cannery, Akosombo Textile, and even some colts clubs.
He also sat for several years on the Ghana Boxing Authority on voluntary status basis.
He died on March 25, 1987, survived by his wife, Matilda, and 10 children. All said, he goes down in the country’s history as the greatest Sports Administrator Ghana has ever produced.