Appiah limits social activities for Stars …Ahead of Friday’s W/C qualifier

Kwesi Appiah - Stars Coach

Kwesi Appiah – Stars Coach

Head Coach of the Black Stars, Kwesi Appiah is limiting the number of outdoor or social activities of the team with two days to their FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier against Congo Brazzaville at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Friday.

The move, according to the GFA Communication Director, Saanie Daara, was to get the team to prepare well and master their strategies within the very short period they have to engage the Congolese.

Activities such as visitation to orphanages, the Mankyia Palace and friends and officials visits to camp would not be countenanced ahead of Friday’s game.

Mr Daara said “Coach Kwesi Appiah is limiting the number of outdoor or social activities for the team because of the days left for the match. As we stand now we have only three days of training before Friday’s match so Coach Kwesi Appiah would want to limit what they do like the visitations to the orphanages, the visits to the King’s palace and the rest would be very much limited.”

The coach’s attitude only goes to suggest that the technical team is unhappy about the period of time to prepare for the must-win game, a situation which is beyond their control.

According to him, 11 players commenced preparation on Monday evening with about hour recovery training at the team’s hotel in Kumasi after arriving from the capital with the remaining players joining from their respective bases.

Mr Daara confirmed that the rest of the players except Raphael Dwamena and Lumor Agbenyenu arrived on Monday night.

He mentioned the likes of the Ayew brothers – Andre and Jordan with English Premier League sides, West Ham FC and Swansea SC, Jeffrey Schlupp of Crystal Palace and Thomas Partey of Athletico Madrid among the contingent that arrived on Monday evening.

Agbenyenu Lumor joined the team last night after featuring for his Portuguese side Portimonese in a league game on Monday night.

However, Daara explained that Dwamena has the permission to stay for an extra day to undergo further medicals after failing the required medicals for a move to English Premier League outfit, Brighton and Hove Albion.

In the latest development, the technical team has handed a late call up to midfielder Afriyie Acquah to replace Isaac Sackey of Alanyaspor from Turkey who got injured featuring for his team in the weekend’s action.

It will mark a huge return for the Torino midfielder who has been ignored in recent call ups and would need to work hard to win back the confidence of Appiah and his able lieutenants.

In other updates, Mr Daara stated that a team of officials from Tunisia, selected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is expected to arrive in Ghana today.

The officiating team would be led by Tunisian referee Youssef Essrayi who would be in the centre together with countrymen Jridi Faouzi and Marwene Saad on the lines and Nasrallah Jaouadi as the fourth referee.

Essrayi officiated in two World Cup qualifying matches including Cote d’Ivoire’s 1-0 win at Liberia in November 2015 and the 2-0 defeat of Cape Verde last October.

He said an advance party from Congo that arrived in Ghana yesterday would brief the Ghana FA on their plans including the arrival.


By Andrew Nortey

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