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Africa Cup of Nations

Ghana coach Appiah offers locally-based players Afcon opportunity

8:17 AM IST 05/01/19
Hearts of Oak fans
The Black Stars boss says players plying their trade domestically have up to May to prove themselves worthy of being picked for the continental event

Home-based players have been offered hope of making Ghana's squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament despite their almost lack of competitive action since June last year.

Aside from players of Asante Kotoko, who recently faced Kariobangi Sharks of Kenya in a two-legged tie in the Caf Confederation Cup, and players of the national junior youth teams, all other locally-based players have been rendered inactive owing to an indefinite suspension of all competitive local matches and competitions following a bribery and corruption scandal which rocked the football association.

Although the Premier League remains suspended until at least August, a newly-announced competition is set to offer teams and players a way back to action and possibly, as it now appears, a place in the Black Stars for the Afcon in June/July.

"I am aware the Normalisation Committee will be starting a tournament this year for our clubs," Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah told Kessben FM.

"Between now and May, any locally-based player who impresses me will have the chance to join the Black Stars to the 2019 African Cup of Nations."

According to the Normalisation Committee, which is currently running activities of the GFA under the mandate of Fifa and the Ghanaian government, the "new competition will involve all sixteen Premier League and all forty-eight Division One League clubs in the country".

The championship, scheduled to run between January 26, 2019 and  April 21, 2019" is to "keep all the clubs active during the GFA normalisation process, as well as produce Ghana’s representatives for the next Caf Champions League and Confederations Cup respectively".