Andre Ayew and Thomas Teye Partey of Ghana, referee Victor Gomes, 2019 AfconBackpagepix

Ghana make changes to Afcon 2021 qualifying squad as Ayew brothers and Partey return

Ghana have made alterations to their squad for their upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, drafting in Swansea City ace Andre Ayew, Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew and Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey but the trio will not play against South Africa on Thursday.

The three England-based players were left out of the Black Stars' original 29-man squad announced for the penultimate Group C clash with Bafana Bafana and the final group game against Sao Tome and Principe three days later.

Their exclusion was on the request of their clubs as entry into South Africa for the away clash will require that the players undertake mandatory hotel quarantine for 10 days on their return to the United Kingdom before joining up with their clubs.

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This directive is in accordance with the UK's safety protocols in relation to inbound travels from jurisdictions classified as Covid-19 high-risk countries and consequently red-listed, as is the case of South Africa.

With the Ghana FA having struck a deal with Swansea, Palace and Arsenal to exempt the trio from the South Africa trip, the players have been given the green light by the clubs to join the Black Stars’ camp for the Sao Tome clash.

Also, Germany-born Hamburg defender Stephan Ambrosius, who was surprisingly named in the 29-man squad, has rejected Ghana's call-up, instead opting to represent the country of his birth at the upcoming European U21 championship.

Fellow Germany-based centre-back Kasim Adams Nuhu, who plays for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, has also pulled out.

In their place, Ghana coach CK Akonnor has called up Asante Kotoko defender Yussif Mubarik and Legon Cities man Joseph Adjei.

Vitoria Guimaraes left-back Gideon Mensah was also withdrawn from the 29-man squad after suffering an injury while in club action over the weekend and has been replaced by Asante Kotoko defender Imoro Ibrahim.

Real Mallorca midfielder Iddrisu Mohammed Baba, U20 Afcon Golden Ball winner Iddrisu Mohammed Baba and Gent midfielder Kamal Sowah have also not been named in the latest squad.

Colchester United attacker Kwame Afriyie Poku, whose inclusion in the original squad has generated criticism of the Black Stars management due to his status as a fourth tier league player in England, on the other hand, has been maintained.

Ghana are currently top of the table in Group C ahead of the final two rounds of games.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates – South Africa), Razak Abalora (Asante Kotoko - Ghana), Eric Ofori Antwi (Medeama SC - Ghana), Danlad Ibrahim (Asante Kotoko - Ghana)

Full Backs: Baba Abdul Rahman (PAOK – Greece), Benson Annan (MLK Zilina – Slovakia), Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC – Ghana), Imoro Ibrahim (Asante Kotoko - Ghana)

Central Defenders: Nicholas Opoku (Amiens SC – France), Ganiyu Ismael (Asante Kotoko – Ghana), Joseph Adjei (Legon Cities - Ghana), Yussif Mubarik (Asante Kotoko - Ghana)

Central Midfield: Kudus Mohammed (Ajax Amsterdam – Holland), Mubarak Wakaso (Jiangsu Suning F.C - China), Afriyie Acquah (Yeni Malatyaspor - Turkey), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens SC - France), Gladson Awako (Great Olympics -Ghana), Kwame Afriyie Poku (Colchester United – England)

Left Attacking Midfield: Osman Bukari (Gent – Belgium), Joseph Esso (Dreams FC- Ghana)

Attackers: Emmanuel Boateng (Dalian Professional - China), Emmanuel Gyasi (Spezia – Italy), Kwame Opoku (Asante Kotoko – Ghana), John Antwi (Pyramids FC – Egypt), Kwasi Okyere Wriedt (Willem II – Holland), Caleb Ekuban (Trabzonspor – Turkey)