Schlupp, Accam named in Ghana squad for AFCON qualifiers, Essien among World Cup quintet axed
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has named seven players who missed the recent World Cup and dropped four key players who were in the tournament in Brazil from his squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Goalkeeper Razak Brimah, Baba Abdul Rahman, Jeffrey Schlupp, Awal Mohammed, Yussif Chibsah, Solomon Asante and David Accam are the seven returnees invited for the matches against Uganda and Togo.
Sulley Muntari, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Essien and Adam Kwarasey were dropped from the squad following the explosive problems at the World Cup which resulted in the sacking of two players at the competition in Brazil.
Long-serving Samuel Inkoom, who was not among the players who caused problems at the World Cup, was also excluded from the 24-man squad.
But the Black Stars squad seems not to have changed much as most of the key players inlcuding captain Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew and Christian Atsu were part of Kwesi Appiah’s 23-man squad.
Goalkeeper Brimah takes the place of Kwarasey who has stated that he does not want to play for the Black Stars unless the goalkeepers’ coach Nassam Yakubu is sacked.
The Spain-based shot-stopper and Chibsah return to the squad after playing in the friendly against Japan earlier this year and have not been called back since then.
As predicted by Ghana’s leading football news website, www.ghanasoccernet.com, in-form Germany-based defender Abdul-Rahman returns to the team profiting from the axing of Muntari as Kwadwo Asamoah would be moved to occupy the midfield position the AC Milan player played during the World Cup.
Schlupp and Accam, who were part of the provisional Black Stars squad for the World Cup but missed the boat have also been given the opportunity to impress coach Kwesi Appiah.
Towering South Africa-based Mohammed Awal returns to the squad after playing in some of the World Cup qualifiers but was not named in the provisional squad for the tournament in Brazil.
Ghana will play Uganda on September 5 in Kumasi and take on the Hawks the following weekend in Lome.
The 30th edition of AFCON will be played from 17 January through to 8 February 2015 in Morocco.
Winners and runner-up of each group plus the third-best team will join hosts Morocco for the final tournament.
Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Chippa United, South Africa), Adams Stephen (Aduana Stars) and Razak Braimah (Mirandes FC, Spain)
Defenders: Daniel Opare (FC Porto, Portugal), Harrison Afful (Esperance FC, Tunisia), Awal Mohammed (Maritzburg, South Africa), Baba Rahman (FC Augsburg, Germany), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), John Boye (Erciyesspor FC, Turkey) and Jonathan Mensah (Evian FC, France)
Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyeman Badu (Udinese, Italy), Rabiu Mohammed (Krasnodar, Russia), Yusif Chibsah (Sassuolo, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Karzan, Russia), Atsu Christian (Everton, England), Asante Solomon (T.P. Mazembe FC, Congo DR.), Gyimah Edwin (Black Aces, South Africa), Afriyie Acquah (Parma FC, Italy) and Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille, France)
Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Jordan Ayew (Lorient, France), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), David Accam (Helsenborg, Sweden).
What do you think of the squad? Do you think the right players have been called? Do you think some players dropped should have been included? Do you think Ghana can defeat Togo and Uganda with this squad? Make your views known in the box below: