John Boye of Ghana, Ellyes Joris Skhiri of Tunisia, 2019 AfconBackpagepix

Former Fenerbahce defender Johnson advises Akonnor on Ghana selections

Former Ghana international Sam Johnson has urged Black Stars coach CK Akonnor to keep the same yardstick for selection of both home and foreign-based players for national duty.

Akonnor, who was appointed the new coach of the West African nation in January, recently revealed performance inconsistencies is a challenge to his desire to hand more opportunities to locally-based players.

In recent years, coaches of Ghana's senior national team have been heavily criticised for marginalising domestic players in squad selections for national duty.

Article continues below

"It is the right thing to call up consistent players but he [Akonnor] should not only limit it to the local scene," Johnson said, as reported by Prime News Ghana.

"If I am playing [locally] and you don't call me and someone else [foreign-based player] playing [for the Black Stars] is not playing [at club level] and you call him, it is not fair.

"But there are exceptions where some players are not active at their clubs but perform well when handed the national team invite.

"My advice to the local players is that they should fight and get into the first eleven when they receive call-ups."

Early last month, Akonnor named his first Ghana squad which featured four home-based players.

Hearts of Oak goalkeeper Richard Attah, Ashanti Gold fullback Kwadwo Amoako, Asante Kotoko centre-back Habib Mohammed and Aduana Stars striker Yahaya Mohammed were the privileged men.

The team was to assemble for a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying double-header against Sudan which was ultimately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson and Akonnor played together for Ghana at the 2000 Afcon.