Avram Grant clinches Black Star job

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Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant is the new coach of Ghana after agreeing a 27-month contract, the country’s football association announced on Thursday.

The 54-year-old Israeli, who missed out on Champions League glory with Chelsea in 2008 after a penalty shootout defeat in the final against Manchester United, will lead Ghana in January’s African Nations Cup finals. Grant replaces Kwesi Appiah who led the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but was fired in September.

Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi told a news conference that he had been given a mandate to “do well at the 2015 Nations Cup and win the 2017 Nations Cup”.

The football association identified Grant as their coach of choice several weeks ago but needed approval from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and that was received last week.

There were also concerns his Israeli passport would make travelling difficult to Arab nations in north Africa.

“All outstanding issues with Mr Grant have been cleared and we believe he is the right man for the job,” said Nyantakyi.

It is a second international assignment for Grant who coached Israel between 2002-06, narrowly failing to qualify for the World Cup in Germany.

He has also had spells in charge of West Ham United and Portsmouth.

Grant’s most recent job was at Partizan Belgrade where he spent the final five months of the 2011/12 season and guided the team to the Serbian title before resigning with a year remaining on his contract.

Ghana were unconvincing in qualifying for the Nations Cup finals that will be held in Equatorial Guinea.

They last lifted the title in 1982 but have reached the semi-finals in each of the last four editions, finishing as runners-up in Angola in 2010.

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