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Sports News of Thursday, 30 July 2020


The inside story of why Mohammed Salisu is allegedly unwilling to play for Ghana

Real Valladolid defender, Mohammed Salisu Real Valladolid defender, Mohammed Salisu

A ‘misconstrued’ quote from Black Stars coach CK Akonnor has triggered a debate about one of Ghana’s hottest footballers.

Akonnor, in an interview with Angel FM explained that he has so far not been successful in his bid to convince Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu to play for the Black Stars.

Akonnor added that deliberations are still ongoing with the player and the FA has not given up hopes of getting him to wear the national colours.

“Yes, we’ve tried to reach out to him [Salisu Mohammed] but we’ve been unsuccessful. I think with time we’ll all see but so far it has been difficult, " coach Akonnor told Angel TV.

Call it a spin or misinterpretation of Akonnor’s words, some outlets reported that Salisu has rejected the Black Stars.

The reportage forced the family of the 21-year-old to issue a statement and affirm their ‘son’s’ commitment to the national team.

“The family of Abdul Karim Salisu Mohammed wish to correct and clarify news gaining momentum in some media circles which seems to suggest that our son has rejected the opportunity to play for the senior national team, the Black Stars”.

“We further wish to state unequivocally that our son is a proud Ghanaian and very ready to represent Ghana at every level and time. He is so much enthused to be associated with the Black Stars since it has been his dream to play for Ghana at the highest level”, excerpts of the statement read.

A brother of the player followed up the statement with an interview on Angel FM where he revealed that Salisu was once turned down by the handlers of the Black Starlets.

He explained that in the early stages of his career, the family and Salisu’s club made efforts to court the attention of former under-17 coach Paa Kwesi Fabin but their efforts proved futile.

He narrated that during one of the matches, current GFA boss Kurt Okraku was present and was impressed by Salisu’s performance but that was not enough to have Fabin look his way.

Quizzed on whether his brother’s inability to make the Black Starlets was down to him not greasing the palm of the coach, he answered in the negative.

But according to Angel FM, the actual reason Salisu was turned down is not because his performance was substandard but because he could not pay his way into the team.

The pain of that decision by the then coach of the Starlets is what has made him bitter hence the unwillingness to play for Ghana.

Angel FM reports that Salisu's seeming disinterest in the national team is because Ghana turned him down when he needed Ghana.

His brother denied the report but could not point to exactly why he was rejected by the technical team of the Starlet.