Black Stars coach C. K Akonnor has defended the decision to call up home-based players to begin preparation for the 2021 AFCON Qualifiers.
The former Ghana captain on Friday, 12 February 2021, named a 32-man home-based squad to move to camp on Monday, 15 February, to begin preparation for next month’s double-header qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.
Speaking in an interview with GFA News on Friday, Akonnor said the move was to avoid a recurrence of the challenges met in November last year.
“This is not the first time a national team coach is inviting home-based players. For us, it has become necessary to do this because of the challenges we faced before the Ghana versus Sudan match, when players were not able to come because of COVID-19 issues”, Akonnor explained.
“We made some late call-ups but travelling restrictions and quarantine issues made things difficult for us”, he said, adding: “So, management and the technical team thought it wise to do this by inviting a chunk of home players to move to camp to prepare for the games”.
“We believe that once the time gets closer, we will look at the foreign players who are doing well and without issues of COVID-19 to join the players”, he noted.
“With all this at stake, we (myself and the rest of the technical team) have been able to go around to look into what is going on with our clubs and I must commend our coaches for a good job done”, he observed.
“The players have done so well and we believe that those we have selected are the best in the country. Hopefully, when the foreign guys are able to come and join them, we will have a solid team to play South Africa and Sao Tome”, Akonnor added.