World Cup 2022 qualifiers: Ghana dealt Jordan Ayew and Amartey blow ahead of South Africa duel

Jordan Ayew Andre Ayew Rabiu Mohammed Ghana Afcon 2015Getty Images

Premier League clubs have decided against releasing players for September's round of World Cup qualifiers which are due to take place in Covid-19 red-listed countries, ruling Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew, Leicester City centre-back Daniel Amartey and Brentford winger Tariqe Fosu out of Ghana's showdown away against South Africa. 

According to a statement by the FA, nearly 60 players from 19 clubs have been affected by the decision.

South Africa, who are on the UK's coronavirus red list, are set to host Ghana for a Group G matchday two fixture in Johannesburg on September 6.

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"Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month," the FA announced on their official website on Tuesday. 

"The clubs' decision, which is strongly supported by the Premier League, will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window.

"This follows Fifa’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.

"Extensive discussions have taken place with both The FA and the Government to find a solution, but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travellers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted."

Ghana are set to open their World Cup qualifiers with a home clash with Ethiopia on September 3 before making the trip to South Africa.

Earlier this month, Black Stars coach CK Akonnor unveiled a provisional list of 30 players for the uncoming double-header, the roster including Ayew, Amartey and Fosu.

Although the trio are now confirmed out of the South Africa decider, they are still expected to join Ghana’s squad for the Ethiopia opener three days earlier.

“If required to quarantine on return from red list countries, not only would players’ welfare and fitness be significantly impacted, but they would also be unavailable to prepare for and play in two Premier League match rounds, a Uefa club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup,” the FA statement further explained.

“This period takes into consideration 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England but does not include any additional time that would be required for players to regain match fitness.”

It is, however, uncertain whether Chelsea defender Abdul Rahman Baba will also miss the South Africa trip, having been snubbed by the club in their list of registered players for the season, and all but confirmed for a transfer away.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Teye Partey was also named in Ghana’s squad, but an ankle injury has almost certainly confirmed him out of September’s round of international assignments anyway.

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