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Sports News of Saturday, 28 August 2021


GFA to hold crisis meeting over release of top players for South Africa clash

GFA President, Kurt Okraku GFA President, Kurt Okraku

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is set for a crisis meeting over the release of top Black Stars players for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Black Stars will commence their qualifiers with a game against Ethiopia on September 3 at the Cape Coast Stadium before they travel to Johannesburg to face South Africa on September 6.

With most European clubs reluctant to release players during the international break due to quarantine regulations, Ghana could be hit with massive withdrawals in its squad.

Black Stars coach Charles Akonnor is likely to be without some of his invitees such as Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Baba Rahaman (Chelsea), Andy Yiadom (Reading), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Tariq Fosu (Brentford), Emmanuel Gyasi (Spezia), Baba Iddrisu (Real Mallorca).

There have been concerns over mandatory quarantines for players travelling to and from red-list countries during the international break, which could threaten health and safety and have a serious knock-on effect for clubs in terms of training and the resumption of domestic games.

South Africa, which is currently on the red list of the UK could see most players invited by CK Akonnor unable to travel to Johannesburg for the game on September 6.

Meanwhile, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has pleaded with European clubs to release players for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

“Together we have shown solidarity and unity in the fight against COVID-19,” Infantino said. “Now, I am urging everyone to ensure the release of international players for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”, Infantino said in a statement.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has also sent out a plea to the British government to grant exemptions to African players traveling to represent their countries in the World Cup qualifiers.

The GFA will hold a meeting to see other options if the call for players to be given a special dispensation is not approved by the European clubs after FIFA and CAF’s intervention.