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Sports News of Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Andre Ayew fears lack of friendly games could hamper Stars AFCON campaign

Ghana captain, Andre Ayew fears the Black Stars’ inability to play friendly games during the last two FIFA international friendlies could hamper the team’s preparations ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which begins next month.

The Black Stars take on the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on November 15, 2019 at the Accra Sports Stadium but Ghana has had no proper preparation going into that game.

According to the Swansea City forward, he is disappointed the Black Stars were unable to engage in any preparatory game which could have put the team in shape ahead of the qualifiers.

"We are very disappointed because in the last two international windows we did not have any friendly games and we don't know why," the Swansea forward told BBC Sport.

Ayew further said, the team had to regroup, revive and prepare for next month’s qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome after the disappointing Africa Cup of Nations exit in Egypt.

“After the disappointing round-of-16 exit from this year's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, We were hoping to use friendly matches to regroup and prepare for the qualifiers of the 2021 Nations Cup finals in Cameroon”.

Ghana were unable to engage in friendly games due to lack of funds from the Sports Ministry and the Ghana Football Association as earlier reported by GHANAsoccernet.com.

Meanwhile, the Black Stars will later travel away to play their second group game against Sao Tome and Principe on October 19, 2019 before the qualifiers goes on a break till 2020.

The Stars have failed to engage in any preparatory or friendly games in the previous two international breaks while their opponent South Africa played Mali in a friendly which ended in a stalemate.

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah was on tour in Europe during the last international break to monitor and scout Ghanaian players abroad as part of efforts to build a new team for the future.

Appiah was in Denmark where he visited Norsdjaelland FC which has a lot of Ghanaian contingent in the squad.

He interacted with the players and shared his plans with them in his bid to assemble a new team for the future. After the visit the club released a statement on their official twitter handle which read,

"Thanks to the @ghanafaofficial and Head Coach of the #BlackStars James Kwesi Appiah for visiting us and the Ghanaian boys here in Denmark????????????'" a statement released by the club after the visit read.

GHANAsoccernet.com understands that Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah is expected to arrive in the country on Thursday 24 October, 2019 where he will name his squad for the game against South Africa after his tour.

The first two rounds of group matches will be played during the international window in November.