Ghana FA chief Afriyie explains decision to snub top players

James Kwesi Appiah
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The football association has revealed why several top players were dropped ahead of the Black Stars' Afcon qualifiers

Ghana Football Association vice president George Afriyie says Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah did not call several top players for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia because he wanted to hand opportunities to new players.

 The 56-year-old, who was confirmed as Avram Grant's successor a fortnight ago, named a 30-man squad for his first assignment including seven locally-based players as well as debut call-ups to Kingsley Sarfo, Thomas Agyepong, Agbenyenu Lumor but top players like Razak Brimah, Mubarak Wakaso, Agyemang Badu and Christian Atsu were missing out.

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"The explanation Kwesi Appiah gave Ghana Football Association was very simple. According to him, the players that are not in the squad are players he knows very well and wanted to give an opportunity to new players," Afriyie told Joy FM.

"He wants to try new talents and create competition, so we asked the same question you are asking now but the point is that he wants to give opportunities to other players as well," he added.

The players will begin a non-residential camping next week in Accra before they move to Kumasi four days later.