After Maxwell Konadu’s sacking, Johnson Smith was asked to temporarily guide the players.
It must be said that he has done a splendid job so far, leading Kotoko to the top of the league table.
Perhaps, his biggest moment was against former club Karela United where he broke their longstanding record at the Crosby Awuah Memorial Park with the Porcupine Warriors.
Just under 24 hours later, Asante Kotoko informed the Ghana Football Association of their appointment of Abdul Gazale as the permanent head coach of the side. Smith has moved back to the assistant coach role.
A section of Kotoko fans were not too happy with the decision as under Smith, Kotoko lost just once in nine league matches (W5 D3 L1).
Why change a coach that has made Kotoko title contenders in a short period? Well, the club had a good reason to make that call.
The answer can be found in Article 12 of the GFA club licensing regulations which focuses on the personnel and administrative criteria for a Premier League club to keep their license.
According to Article 12.1 (a), every Ghana Premier League club must have a head coach with a minimum of a CAF A coaching license or its equivalent.
If an expatriate seeks to manage a GPL team, he needs to have a UEFA A coaching license or better.
Smith, unfortunately, has the CAF B coaching license which is only enough to be an assistant coach of a GPL club.
He was only allowed to be an interim head coach due to the dismissal of Maxwell Konadu and his interim appointment expired on January 22, 2021 as stated by the GFA.
The former Karela boss has shown that he has the skill despite lacking in qualification. Whether Gazale uses his expertise extensively will be another matter to be discussed in the future.