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Sports News of Thursday, 27 September 2018


Direction of Black Stars has not changed - Ibrahim Tanko

Assistant Black Stars coach, Ibrahim Tanko Assistant Black Stars coach, Ibrahim Tanko

Ghana assistant coach Ibrahim Tanko says their mission to rebuild the Black Stars remains on course despite recalls to some 'old players' in the last selection.

John Boye, 31, 32-year-old Harrison Afful, Daniel Opare, 27, and Majeed Waris, 27, who all had not played for the Black Stars since 2017, were among the invited players for September's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya, while the likes of Lumor Agbenyenu, 22, and Thomas Agyepong, 21, were instead snubbed.

Since assuming duty in May last year, Appiah has reiterated his desire to phase out the old order for a new hungry unit, and it is for this reason that his September squad raised questions.

"The direction of the Black Stars has not changed," Tanko told Goal.

"We didn’t have Lumor [Agbenyenu] because he did not play in his club’s last few games before naming our squad. So we invited Daniel Opare who was in the team for matches against Congo, Uganda and Saudi Arabia, so he’s not a new addition.

"Boye was earning invites when we came on board but injuries had to halt that. This season, he’s played all the games for his club when fit. We saw that he’s fit and with his experience, he could do something."

The September squad, meanwhile, succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Kenya.

"Thomas Agyepong was out on a long-term injury. He just returned to action plus he changed clubs, so it was not fair to call him up as he’d not even played a game," Tanko explained.

"Afful was there because Lumor was not there and we needed two players for both positions.

"Opare was there and we also had Yiadom who played his best game for the Black Stars at left back at the 2017 Afcon against Burkina Faso. So we have not diverted from the direction.

"All those invited deserved to be there."

Ghana's squad for next month's Afcon qualifying double-header against Sierra Leone is expected to be announced in the coming days.