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Sports News of Sunday, 24 March 2019

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

Ghana loses Hudson-Odoi forever as youngster makes senior debut for England

Ghana's hopes of capping Chelsea whiz-kid Callum Hudson-Odoi ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations have been completely dashed after youngster made his debut for the England senior national team.

The son of former Hearts of Oak midfielder Bismark Odoi made his England debut in a competitive match when he came on during the Three Lions’ 5-0 win against Czech Republic in the EURO 2020 qualifier on Friday.

This means the Chelsea star won't be able to make a nationality switch to enable him play for Ghana as FIFA nationality rules prevent players who have played at the senior level from switching international allegiances.

The 18-year-old, whose father played for Ghana, was one of the players targeted by the Ghanaian football authorities for a nationality switch ahead of Africa's flagship football tournament to be played in Egypt in June.

The Black Stars sealed top spot in the qualification on Saturday and were hoping to start preparing by boosting the squad to ensure they can compete for their fifth title in Egypt, with Hudson-Odoi one of the key targets.

Despite having limited playing time under Chelsea coach Sarri, the youngster has scored five times in 19 appearances all competition even though he has not made a start in the Premier League.

In what looked like a bid to stop the Hudson-Odoi from playing for Ghana, he was last week called for the England U21s but was handed a late invite by coach Gareth Southgate to prepare for the European Qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Hudson-Odoi broke a 64-year-old record to become the youngest player to make his England debut in a competitive match when he came on during the Three Lions’ 5-0 win against Czech Republic.

Hudson-Odoi came on for Raheem Sterling after 70 minutes to earn his first international cap at the age of 18 years 135 days, breaking the record set by former Manchester United forward Duncan Edwards.

Edwards was 48 days older than Hudson-Odoi when he made his Three Lions debut in a British Home Championship tie against Scotland in April 1955.

The tricky wideman made an impact too, with his late curling effort parried by goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka into the path of Tomas Kalas, who inadvertently deflected to ball into his in own net to complete the scoring.

The Chelsea winger was born to an English mother and a Ghanaian father so he was eligible to play for Ghana and should have switched allegiance as he had already for the youth side of England.

His debut ends Ghana chase for the youngster who is hugely talented and could boost the Black Stars squad in future.

With the Africa Cup of Nations looming in Egypt, it was thought coach Kwesi Appiah who played along with the father of the youngster in the Ghana top-flight could make a push for a nationality switch for the winger.

As Hudson-Odoi made his debut for England from the weekend, he wont be able to play for the country of his father forever as FIFA rules currently won't allow that.