Three players handed call-up as Ghana makes changes to friendly squad

Caleb Ekuban Ekuban makes a return of the squad after the 2019 AFCON penalty miss

Mon, 5 Oct 2020 Source: goal.com

Ghana has announced changes to their squad for October's international friendlies against Mali and Qatar.

Last month, coach CK Akonnor unveiled a 23-man roster for the October 9 clash against The Eagles and the October 12 tie against the 2022 World Cup hosts.

Visa challenges have, however, seen second vice-captain goalkeeper Richard Ofori Antwi, Egypt-based striker John Antwi and Sporting Lisbon left-back Lumor Agbenyenu ruled out of the upcoming fixtures.

"Goalkeeper Richard Ofori will miss Ghana’s friendly games against Mali and Qatar. The South Africa based shot-stopper who has been Ghana’s safest pair of hands since 2016, has been ruled out of the games because his work permit has expired and would require at least two weeks for it to be renewed. Coach CK Akonnor, now has two goalkeepers, Lawrence Ati-Zigi and Razak Abalora, available for selection," the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has announced on their official website.

"John Antwi: The Pyramid’s FC top marksman is one of the players who wouldn’t make it to Turkey following difficulties to secure a visa to travel to Antalya. John’s work permit has also expired and would need no less than two weeks to secure a new one.

"Lumor Agbenyenu: The Sporting Lisbon left-back who played on loan at Real Mallorca last season could also not apply for a visa due to work permit complications."

There is also currently uncertainty about the availability of Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Mohammed Kudus who picked up an injury during club training last week and consequently sat out the Dutch side's Eredivisie 1-0 loss to Groningen on Sunday.

"The Ajax Amsterdam midfielder [Kudus] is a doubt for the games, but the GFA is insisting that he travels to Turkey on Tuesday for assessment. The former Right to Dream Academy man was left out of the Ajax squad for Sunday’s Dutch League game against FC Groningen after sustaining an injury in training on Thursday," the national football governing body said.

Black Stars coach Akonnor has promptly reacted to the withdrawals by calling up Trabzonspor striker Caleb Ekuban and Ankaragucu winger Joseph Paintsil, both Turkey-based, as replacements.

"Meanwhile head coach Charles Akonnor has handed late call ups to Turkey-based duo, Caleb Ekuban (Trabzonspor) and Joseph Paintsil (Ankaragucu). Ekuban has been drafted in to replace John Antwi, while Paintsil replaces Lumor Agbenyenu," the FA revealed.

The October matches are part of Ghana's preparations ahead of the resumption of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in November where Ghana take on Sudan in a double-header.

The friendlies will also be Akonnor's first games in charge of the Black Stars since assuming duty in January.

Source: goal.com
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