Ghana’s upcoming AFCON qualifier against Angola: Hughton hits ground running
Black Stars coach, Chris Hughton has hit the ground running by submitting to the General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) his squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Angola.
The UK-based coach spent the weekend monitoring some of his players in England but the Communications Director of the FA, Henry Asante Twum, confirmed to the Graphic Sports yesterday that the squad was ready and would be released upon the arrival of the 64-year-old Hughton who was appointed national coach last month.
The Fa spokesperson said the invited players and their clubs have already been notified and are expected to abide by the 14-day rule by FIFA for their release for the double header qualifiers.
“He has already submitted the list. A few days to the game, you need to notify the clubs, so for the list, you can send it one month ahead of the game,” Mr Twum said.
Until his appointment, Hughton played the role of Technical Advisor to his predecessor Otto Addo and was a key member of the Black Stars technical team in their 2022 World Cup qualifying playoffs with Nigeria and subsequently for the FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar.
Ghana have been drawn in Group E of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers alongside Madagascar, Central Africa Republic and Angola and will open their campaign against Angola on March 23 at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Since his appointment as the head coach, Hughton has been very busy scouting for players and last Saturday, he was at the Emirates Stadium in London alongside assistant coach, George Boateng to watch Ghana’s Thomas Partey score in Arsenal’s Premier League 3-2 victory against Bournemouth.
The FA spokesperson could not confirm to the Graphic Sports how many players had been invited for the Angola qualifiers, except to say the list would be made public soon.
After being part of the Black Stars technical team for the last 12 months, it is unlikely Coach Hughton will make significant changes to the team and is expected to maintain the core of the players who featured at the World Cup.
Expected in the team are captain Andre Ayew who is back playing regular football in the English Premier League with Nottingham Forest, in-form Thomas Partey and Mohammed Kudus, as well as regulars such as Daniel Amartey, Jordan Ayew, Mohammed Salisu, Antoine Semenyo and Tariq Lamptey.
Others are Abdul Salis Samad, Alexander Djiku, Elisha Salisu, Denis Odoi, Gideon Mensah, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Daniel Kofi Kyereh, Osman Bukari and Inaki Williams, while Spain-based Baba Iddrisu who missed the World Cup due to injury could make a return.