Locally-based players not ready for Black Stars – Osei Kofi

Locally-based players not ready for Black Stars – Osei Kofi
Habib Mohammed of Ghana

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Mar 05, 2020. 12:00

Ghana football legend Osei Kofi, a winner of the 1965 Africa Cup of Nations, insists that locally-based players should not be called into the national team right now.

New Black Stars coach CK Akonnor has called up no less than four such individuals for the team’s upcoming 2021 AFCON qualifier double-header against Sudan later this month.

The players are fullback Kwadwo Amoako of Ashanti Gold, Hearts of Oak goalkeeper Richard Attah, Asante Kotoko centre-back Habib Mohammed – the trio have all been called-up for the first time – and Aduana Stars striker Yahaya Mohammed, who receives a recall after seven years out of the set-up.

Yet Kofi argues that the players are not ready for international football because the current season of the Ghana Premier League has only been running since December.

“I will not invite any local player for the qualifiers if I were the coach because the league that toughens players that travel outside started not long ago,” Kofi is quoted by Footballghana.

“If the league gets its shape, I think Akonnor will get one of the best teams in the country.

“Egypt have won most of the Africa Cup of Nations due to the dependence on local players.

“I’m sure the national team will change in the next two years if the local league continues to develop.”

Ghana top Group C of the 2021 qualifiers with a full haul of six points, having already beaten Sao Tome & Principe and South Africa.

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