Ghana warned against risking players in Kotoko friendly after Sierra Leone disappointment

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Ghana Black Stars
Ex-GFA veep Fred Pappoe believes it will be in the best interest of the country to immediately release its players from international duty

Former vice president of the Ghana Football Association, Fred Pappoe, is uncomfortable about the scheduled friendly between the Black Stars and local giants Asante Kotoko in place of the cancelled Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone. 

Originally set to take on the Leone Stars in a double-header on Thursday and Monday, the Black Stars will be internationally inactive during the October Fifa break following annulment of the games due to a ban on Sierra Leone.

With the status of the double-header only confirmed on Tuesday, Ghana's Normalization Committee for Football have moved to make something of their gathering by announcing a friendly date with the Porcupine Warriors on Friday. 

An injury to any member of the Black Stars in the non-Fifa-sanctioned match is sure to incur the wrath of his European club, a situation Pappoe hopes is avoided. 

"The players were released for an Afcon qualifying match, not for a friendly match, so the players must return to their various clubs since the match is cancelled," the former FA vice president told Agyenkwa FM.

"I believe the Normalisation Committee has done the honourable thing by informing the clubs about their next step of playing a friendly match against Kotoko.

"But I believe [playing the match is still] too much of a gamble.

"The Normalisation Committee should know the risks involved in playing such a friendly match instead of the main reason for the players' invitation.

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"I am not disrespecting Kotoko but the [right] thing must be done."

The status of the double-header was only confirmed on Tuesday night, just two days to the first game, and with Ghana's team having already assembled in the match city of Kumasi.

The Black Stars, who lost 1-0 to Kenya last month, now have to wait until November to make a return to competitive action as an away fixture against Ethiopia awaits in the Afcon qualifiers.

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