Sports News of 2014-01-02

CHAN 2014: Hearts of Oak captain dropped

Accra Hearts of Oak midfielder and captain of the team Moro Abubakar is among four players axed from a Kotoko-dominated Ghana final 23-man squad for this month’s Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in South Africa.

The three other players who were also axed from Ghana’s team for the tournament for home-based players are Heart of Lions experienced midfielder Edmund Owusu Ansah, Ebusua Dwarfs striker Richard Gadze and Wa All Stars defender Joshua Otoo.

The squad is dominated by players from Ghana title holders and league leaders Asante Kotoko who provide eight players to the final squad including their central defensive pair of Kwabena Adusei and Abeiku Ainooson.

FA Cup winners Medeama have three players in the squad including their goalkeeper Foli Adade who had has some experience with the senior national team the Black Stars.

Two players each were selected from New Edubiase and AshantiGold while Hearts of Oak, Liberty Professionals, Wa All Stars, Dwarfs, Berekum Chelsea, New Edubiase, King Faisal and Hasaacas all have one player each in the squad.

Coach Maxwell Konadu had to take the difficult decision of excluding these top players from his final squad because of the tough competition in the team but it was expected that Kotoko players will dominate the squad as they have shown to have the best players in the local league over the past two years.

The biggest beneficiary of the tough squad named by the coach is impressive Kotoko striker Seidu Bancey who got a late call-up to the team after missing November’s GOtv WAFU Cup title success because of injury.

Since returning from the setback Bancey has maintained his form and impressed the coach which resulted in the decision to include him in the final squad. Konadu, who released his team for the tournament on New Year’s Day, kept faith with three top scorers from the Premier League as Bancey, Sulley Mohammed and Samuel Afful all make the squad.

The home-based national team are based in Windhoek, Namibia for their pre-competition preparations.

Ghana are paired in Group C with Libya, Ethiopia and Congo for the tournament reserved for only home-based players of member nations.

The 16-nation tournament will kick-off on 11 January and finish on 1 February 2014.

Final squad

Goalkeepers: Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars) Foli Adade (Medeama) Isaac Amoako (Asante Kotoko)

Defenders: Godfred Saka (Aduana Stars), Tijani Joshua (AshantiGold) Francis Morton (Ebusua Dwarfs) Kwabena Adusei and Abeiku Ainooson (Asante Kotoko) Nuru Sulley (Hearts of Oak) Alfred Nelson (Liberty Professionals)

Midfielders: Michael Akuffo, Jordan Opoku, Richard Mpong and Yahaya Mohammed (Asante Kotoko) Jackson Owusu (Berekum Chelsea) Theophilus Anobaah (Medeama) Aseidu Attorbrah (New Edubiase) Latif Mohammed (AshantiGold)

Strikers: Sulley Mohammed (King Faisal) Kennedy Boateng (Medeama) Paul De-Vries Asare (Wa All Stars) Samuel Afful (Hasaacas) Seidu Bancey (Asante Kotoko)