Football administrator, Jonathan Abbey Pobi, has predicted failure for Ghana’s senior national team, the Black Stars, at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to take place in Egypt.
According to him, the recent captaincy imbroglio between Coach Kwesi Appiah and striker Asamoah Gyan, which necessitated President Nana Akufo-Addo’s intervention, which, in turn, compelled the star player to rescind his shocking football retirement and Afcon recusal decision, have left deep cracks within the team, a situation Mr Pobi believes will cost Ghana the tournament.
Mr Pobi also said Ghanaians are peeved at the exorbitant budgetary allocation to the Black Stars in the face of pressing socioeconomic needs of the citizenry.
“The national team does not have the blessing of Ghanaians going into this tournament”, he told Kwabena Prah Jnr (The Don) on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 23 May 2019.
“I have known Kwesi Appiah for many years and, so, I was shocked that he took the decision to withdraw the captaincy from Asamoah Gyan at this point in time when the tournament is just about starting. The timing was bad.
“Now, it appears everything has been settled, but trust me, we are just playing the ostrich; there is a deep-rooted problem among the players and that will cost the nation painfully in the tournament.
“Already, most Ghanaians are angry because they feel the budget given to the team for the tournament is too much. We live in a country where humans and animals drink from the same river because pipe borne water has not been extended to those areas due to lack of money.
“People can’t afford to pay their hospital bills, yet we pay the players huge sums of money for playing for the national team.”
On Wednesday, Asamoah Gyan was named among the 29-man provisional Black Stars squad for the Afcon.
Twenty-three of the 29 will make the coach’s final 23-man team.
The provisional squad will leave Accra on Sunday, 1 June 2019 for pre-tournament preparations in Dubai.
Read below the full list of the squad which comprises three goalkeepers, ten defenders, eleven midfielders and five strikers:
Richard Ofori (Maritzburg United, South Africa, Lawrence Ati- Zigi (Sochaux, Montbeliard, France), and Felix Annan (Asante Kotoko, Ghana).
John Boye (Metz, France), Andy Yiadom (Reading, England, Abdul Baba Rahman (Reims, France), Lumor Agbenyenu (Goztepe A.S, Turkey), Kassim Nuhu, (Hoffenheim, Germany,) Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew SC, USA), Joseph Aidoo (Genk, Belguim), Nuhu Musa (St Gallen, Switzerland), Joseph Attamah (Basaksehir, Turkey), and Mohammed Alhassan (Hearts of Oak, Ghana)
Mubarak Wakaso (Deportivo Alaves, Spain), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Kwadwo Asamoah (Internazionle, Italy), Ebenezer Ofori (New York FC, USA), Afriyie Acquah (Empoli, Italy), Andre Ayew ( Fenerbache, Turkey), Christian Atsu (Newcastle United, England), Samuel Owusu (Cukaricki, Serbia), Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian, Scotland), Yaw Yeboah (Numancia, Spain), Abdul Fatawu (Asante Kotoko, Ghana).
Asamoah Gyan (Kayserispor, Turkey), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace, England), Adbul Majeed Waris ( Nantes, France), Caleb Ekuban (Trabzonspor, Turkey and Kwabena Owusu (Leganes, Spain).
The additional backroom staff include:
1. Coach David Duncan (Scout)
2. Coach Didi Mas- Ud Dramani (Scout)
3. Coach Sellas Tetteh (scout)
4. Patrick Ofori (Psychologist)
5. Samuel Kwame Ankomah (Masseur)
6. Jermaine Lopia (Video & match analyst)
7. Simon Copley (Physical trainer)