Salifu Ibrahim -- Hearts of Oak
Salifu Ibrahim -- Hearts of Oak

Charles Akonnor targets Hearts of Oak players for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Some top-performing players of Accra Hearts of Oak have been penciled down to make their Black Stars debut as Coach Charles Kwablan Akonnor prepares to invite players for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.

The decision to draft in some Hearts players for the upcoming international assignments is due to their spectacular form in this season’s Premier League.


This was confirmed to the Graphic Sports by a close source to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) who said the current form of the Phobian players made their invitation to the national team inevitable.

According to the source, there was no Hearts player in the previous squad which was invited for the recent international friendlies against Cote d’Ivoire, but considering their performance in the league currently, it would be unfair to overlook them.

“The last time, there was no player from Hearts of Oak who was invited to the national team, but if you consider the fact that they are the best team in the league currently, it is only fair that some of their players are handed a call-up”, the source maintained.

Even though the source stopped short of disclosing the names of players who are likely to make it to the senior national team, it is believed that Salifu Ibrahim, goalkeeper Richard Attah and in-form striker, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, could be the lucky ones.

The source said Akonnor was convinced that the local players who made the cut during the last call-up understood the demands of playing for the national team, and that they did not have a permanent place, irrespective of their form.

However, the source hinted that majority of the players who were invited for the Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire friendlies would be given another chance because the Stars coach wanted to maintain a consistent squad to enhance his team-building effort.

Ghana was expected to begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign against South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia last June, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the continental football governing body to shift the matches to September this year.

Due to this, the Black Stars gaffer is expected to release a list of players for the qualifiers to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) next month, with some Hearts players on top of his priority list.

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