Fans online have expressed mixed reactions following confirmation that Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams, Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey will now represent Ghana at international level.
Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku confirmed the reports through a social media post on Tuesday with Stephan Ambrosius, Patrick Pfeffer and Ransford Yeboah also now eligible to play for the Black Stars.
The six are among a number of foreign-born stars the GFA has been wooing to switch allegiance ahead of the World Cup, where Ghana are in Group H alongside Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea and fans offered varied opinions regarding the developments.
Tariq Lamptey, Inaki Williams, Mohammed Salisu, Stephan Ambrosius, Patrick Pfeffer and Ransford_Yeboah available for national selection.— Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku (@kurtokraku) July 5, 2022
Below, yours truly with the Dad of Tariq (Ahmed)
Bro, thanks for the trust and your determination to see Ghana succeed. #BringBackTheLove pic.twitter.com/vJb0byj3Ka
“Congrats Kurt Okraku. It's time for Ghana Black Stars to shine again. The last time I watched Black Stars win an AFCON was in 1982 as a very young boy. I have been starved for four decades. Hope the starvation doesn't linger on,” said @AdoteyAgbenya in response to Simeon-Okraku’s tweet.
“We beg you Mr president, your policy is superb, it's a best decision to bring foreign-based players of Ghanaians descent, but we need to take our players seriously, we need show more love to encourage them to give in their best,” replied @JayoumEnoch.
“Wow, Well done Mr President. Please, ensure their smooth integration into the team and manage effectively the fallout. Without the necessary due care, the outcome can be disastrous for the team, especially where a major competition is less than six months away. Wish you well,” said @Tornyeva.
“In as much as I feel sorry for the five unfortunate players that will be replaced by these guys, I also want Ghana to succeed with these five in the team like Inaki and Lamptey,” commented @elikplimesse16.
Some supporters think the GFA should not just focus on the national team.
“How visionary is this? You have a league with no sponsor and a league full of match fixing yet he's always thinking of the Black Stars. How has he changed the system from that of [Kwesi] Nyantakyi?? He's such a visionless leader,” responded @QuameLevelz.
“You have really done well but make the Ghanaian league attractive and focus on their juvenile leagues as well to be able to have such players on home soil. Thank you,” said @lewis_kwesi.
“How can we succeed when we are basically incapable of developing an international footballer from the grassroots to the nation team? We struggle with development post 16/17,” observed @FozGharby.
On the GOAL Africa Facebook page, some Ghana fans are now calling for a rematch between the Blacks Stars and Nigeria who their team eliminated to seal their World Cup ticket in March.
“Someone should tell CAF that we need rematch. Both South Africa and Nigeria. We want to lash them wotowoto,” said Addi Rich Bhayano.
Some supporters, however, feel the new additions still do not make Ghana better.
“They are not good enough for the other side [countries of birth], they had no choice,” commented Okonudoudo Okono.
“Nothing special about him. He's just Ayew Pro max. If he was that good, he would [have] played for Spain like young Ansu Fati,” said Jimmy Godwin in reference to Williams.
Others think Ghana will now be untouchable at the World Cup.
Inaki Williams is the big thing in the history of Ghana black stars football. Welcome home our messiah 😂🇬🇭🇬🇭🔥— ThePowderGuy (@thepowderguy1) July 5, 2022
Inaki Williams is playing for Ghana. Give us the World Cup trophy already. Welcome to the Black Stars Inaki🇬🇭🇬🇭🇬🇭 pic.twitter.com/foY9vuZBi3— Kojo Darko🇬🇭 (@kojodarkoo) July 5, 2022
Ghana with Tariq Lamptey RB, Schlupp LB, Partey, Kyereh & Kudus Midfield with Inaki Williams, Hudson Odoi and Jordan Ayew front 3 is winning the World Cup— NUNGUA BURNA ( FACTOS RONALDO ) (@viewsdey) July 5, 2022
Inaki Williams is a Black Star!— King Eben (@King__Eben) July 5, 2022
The World Cup is not ready for Ghana 🇬🇭 😊
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah are the other players the GFA had hoped would switch allegiance but they are yet to make their decision known.