Kwesi Appiah named his 26-man provisional squad for the training tour in Abu Dhabi with the intention of dropping 3 players after the tour in order to comply with the African Cup of Nations squad rules. Even though it wasn’t an official position it was widely speculated in the local media that the locally based players who made the squad would face the axe come crunch-time. Of the 6 locally based players who made the squad, 2 are goalkeepers and therefore had a shoe-in for the tourney(barring injury) by virtue of the fact that only 3 goalies were called up.
The 4 locally based outfield players were Berekum Chelsea duo-Solomon Asante and Richard Kissi Boateng, Rashid Sumaila of defending league champions Asante Kotoko and the League’s leading scorer Yahaya Mohammed of new-boys Amidaus Professionals. It was widely speculated in the local media and on radio call-in programmes that the calling up of the local contingent was basically a cosmetic exercise aimed at pacifying the critics who always criticize the FA and national coaches of always overlooking local talent in favour of foreign players.
Then came the injury of Amidaus goal-getter Yahaya Mohammed, according to the official website of the Ghanaian football authorities the player suffered “a groin injury which will keep him out for between three to four weeks.” The website added the comments of Kwesi Appiah who said;
“It’s a huge blow for the team, especially me. He has been in very good form and I was looking forward to working with him. “The medical team will follow his recovery and I expect him to get well soon. He will be considered again once he returns to full fitness.”
The veracity of the type of injury or ailment Yahaya Mohammed suffered is subject to rumours, with Hepatitis B doing the rounds on social networks. The superstitious bunch have also accused the player who is on-loan from his parent club Kotoko of granting too many interviews since receiving his call-up which resulted in his ailment. No player was called up to replace Yahaya, so this brings the provisional squad to 25 players(still includes 5 local players).
ENTER DEREK BOATENG
The Dnipropetrovsk man has endured a torrid time with his current club and is on the verge of completing a move to Fulham but apparently the move hinges on him opting out of the Nations cup. The January transfer window is always a period of tug-of-war between club and country with the players caught in the middle. European clubs don’t want to lose the African’s they already have on their books and with Fulham losing Malian Mahmadou Diarra to the AFCON, Boateng’s deal is likely to collapse if he doesn’t budge.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF MR. ANDRE AYEW
The Marseille talisman reportedly suffered a hamstring injury in training, but the GFA has insisted that Andre flies to Abu Dhabi and is assessed by the Black-Stars medical team. I am no medical expert but the period of recovery for hamstring injuries range from a few weeks to several months( that is if you are not Abou Diaby). The uncertainty of the situation is further increased because Andre’s brother Jordan didn’t receive a call-up and wasn’t exactly pleased with being dropped.
Then followed a story in the local press which accused the GFA spokesperson, Ibrahim Saanie Daara of being behind a grand plot aimed at frustrating the Ayew boys. According to the story, Ibrahim at a private meeting accused the Ayew’s of indiscipline and bringing and using charms at the team’s camp.
Whether or not Andre’s injury is genuine or he sees it as an exit out of a sticky situation, what is clear enough is that at the rate at which Kwesi Appiahs squad is being depleted, he may have no say as to who makes the final 23-man squad for South-Africa 2013.