Ghana seek diaspora players' help to beat Nigeria in World Cup playoff

Southampton's Mohammed Salisu “will be playing for Ghana soon. He has assured us that he will play in the World Cup qualifiers” versus Nigeria play-off.
Black Stars of Ghana

Black Stars of Ghana

The Black Stars of Ghana are set to be making a desperate but bold move in their attempt to defeat the Super Eagles of Nigeria for a ticket to this year's World Cup in Qatar.

Local media reports that the national team is attempting to lure the likes of Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi and Brighton's Tariq Lamptey foreign-based players of Ghanaian descent ahead of next month's two-legged encounter against Nigeria.

The Ghanaians are yet to recover from their woeful outing at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon where they failed to win a single match before crashing out in the group stage.

Nigeria who were one of the tournament's favourites after securing maximum points in the group phase failed to make it beyond the Round of 16 by falling to a 1-0 defeat to the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.

Meanwhile, former Black Stars and AC Milan midfielder, Kevin Prince Boateng, revealed the names of foreign players that have been approached by the Ghana Football Association.

According to Boateng, the GFA has been trying to get Hudson-Odoi, Lamptey and Brian Brobbey of Ajax Amsterdam, to name a few.

Although Boateng believes the mission is possible, he is of the opinion that the squad must be made attractive enough to get these players to pledge allegiance to the team.

“You have to make the team attractive for the players to want to play for Ghana. Ghana is one of the biggest countries in football and they have produced some of the world’s best players and I can’t put my thoughts together on why they lost to Comoros,” the Hertha Berlin forward said on Twitter Spaces.

“You have to make the players willing to come and play for their country and that comes with being successful and you can do that by winning games. You have to let them know that you have the big stage because every player want­­s a bigger platform.”

Meanwhile, the Black Stars seemed to have made a breakthrough in their quest as Southampton's Mohammed Salisu is said to have agreed to play for the West African country.

According to Salisu's uncle, Yakubu Ahmed, the Southampton star would be ready for the Ghana versus Nigeria play-off having informed the family of his decision to finally play for the national team.

Ghanaweb quoted Ahmed as saying: “He[Salisu] will be playing for Ghana soon. He has assured us that he will play in the World Cup qualifiers.”

Former International, Charles Akonnor, confirmed he has been trying to lure some Europe-based players of Ghanaian descent to commit to the Black Stars.

Akonnor said, “Those I spoke to want to play [for Ghana] but they are also not familiar with our lifestyle here. They don’t know what is going on, some probably just come here [briefly] and go back.

“They don’t know anything about us and I think it is important for us to encourage them to come here and see what is going on here. They are willing to come but they don’t know what it is [like here].”

“Talking of quality players, I think I made mention of six or five players which I believe are quality [players]. They’ll enhance the way we play, the way we go forward. These names are with the FA and the FA has already started working on it.”

While the Ghana FA continues its quest to lure foreign-based players, the association is also making an attempt to hire a coach that would lead the team against the Super Eagles and hopefully, the World Cup in Qatar.

Recall that coach Milovan Rajevac was booted immediately after the Black Stars crashed out of the ongoing AFCON.

Reports suggest that the Ghana FA has held meetings with former Newcastle United and Tottenham manager, Chris Houghton, as well as Borussia Dortmund current assistant manager, Otto Addo.

Local media also reported the Majority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is championing the Ghana government’s bid to get Houghton as the national team coach, believes he is the right man for the job.

“Chris Hughton is a coach who knows how to build with average materials and that’s Ghana’s situation now,” the legislator said at the weekend.

“Our materials are not good so we need Chris to weld. Otto Addo is just a second coach for Dortmund.”

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