Andre Ayew with his award
Andre Ayew with his award

Andre Ayew: World Cup qualification priority over AFCON title

Black Stars skipper André Ayew has given the indication that the immediate focus of the team is to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup before preparing to end Ghana's 39-year trophy drought at the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

With the FIFA World Cup qualifiers set to take place before the end of the year (September-November 2021) and the AFCON slated for early next year (January 9-February 6, 2022) in Cameroun, Ayew maintains that although the entire squad are desperate for a continental trophy, qualifying for the FIFA World Cup was the priority.


"We are a lot of teams who are crying for it (AFCON trophy) but we want it even more," Ayew said after being named the Footballer of the Year at the Ghana Football Awards in Accra last Saturday.

"But before that, we have the World Cup qualification. We have six very important matches coming up; I don't want to focus on what's in six months because Ethiopia and South Africa are closer. That's what the whole squad is focused on and we are going to make sure we get good results from those games and try to get to the playoffs before preparing for the AFCON".

Bright future

At 31, Ayew will be leading the national team to his seventh AFCON tournament and is looking forward to making his third FIA World Cup appearance after South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. He remains confident that the Black Stars have a "very good squad and a very bright future” looking at the quality of talents coming through.

Currently the most experienced player in the national team with 94 appearances since making his international debut in 2007, Ayew considers youngsters such as goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim, Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus and Black Satellites sensation Abdul Fatawu Issahaku as talented enough to meet the challenges of the time but would have to cope with the pressure that came with representing the nation.

"We have a very good squad, the talent is there, and maybe a little bit less experienced, but the desire to do good things is there and I can feel it when I'm with the boys in camp".

"To be successful, you need to be able to deal with pressure but I hope that as a squad we will be able to fulfil what the entire nation wants."

Club future

Currently out of contract after three seasons with Swansea, Ayew disclosed that he was still weighing  many offers before deciding on his next destination.

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