Former Black Stars and Hearts of Oak legend, Mohammed Ahmed Polo, has challenged players of Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko to excel in their continental campaigns to prove that local players could also merit selection into the Black Stars.
”Playing among the top teams in Africa is a huge opportunity for them to be selected into the Black Stars squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, hence the need for them to improve upon their performances to prove that they have the ability to represent Ghana at the highest level,”Polo, who featured in the 1978 Black Stars squad which conquered Africa, told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview.
According to him, a good performance by Hearts and Kotoko in the CAF Confederation Cup and Champions League respectively could also compel the continental body to restore the two slots Ghana lost due to the poor showing by clubs in African competitions.
“We have lost two slots in Africa, so if Hearts and Kotoko excel, the lost slots may be restored to enable more Ghanaian teams to qualify for Africa in future,” he argued.
Polo was of the view that Black Stars selection should be based on the current performance of players other than names or teams they play for.
“It is my expectation that anyone picked to represent Ghana at the Qatar World Cup will have the versatility and pedigree to exhibit a high standard which will be beneficial to Ghana,” he said.
He noted that there should be no room for mediocrity when the technical team pick the final squad for Qatar because Ghana had been grouped among the best teams in the world.
He, however, implored Coach Otto Addo to take advantage of the upcoming international friendlies to select quality players for the senior national team.
“The technical team should take advantage of the international friendlies to select the right materials and put them in good shape to enable Ghana to go past the group stage.
“It is important for the coaches to strive to go past the group stage because at the knockout stage, all teams have an equal opportunity to progress,” he added.