Black Stars

Black Stars coach Charles Akonnor has named a 23-man squad for next month’s international friendly against Mali.

Five debutants were included in the squad for the match, which will be played in Turkey. The debutants are France-born Alexander Djiku, Yakubu Mohammed, Benson Anang, Emmanuel Lomotey and Kamal Deen Sulemana.

However, no local-based player was included due to the ban imposed on local leagues by the government from March until September to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

Egyptian-based striker John Antwi has been invited for the first time in three years. The striker recently became first foreigner to score 100 goals in Egypt.

Captain Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Kudus Mohammed and Thomas Partey are all part of the squad.

The Black Stars were scheduled to be involved in two friendly games, facing Mali on October 9 and Equatorial Guinea on October 12. Due to new Covid-19 rules, Equatorial Guinea pulled out of the fixture.

This international window will be Akonnor’s first test as Ghana coach as he tries to use this opportunity to gain a better understanding of his squad. The friendly games are to help the five-time AFCON winners keep shape ahead of their double-header AFCON qualifier against Sudan next month.

The qualifiers for AFCON 2021 which was postponed to 2022, were suspended last March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Squad list:

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Maritzburg), Richard Ati Zigi (St. Gallen), Razak Abalora (Unattached)

Full Backs: Benson Anang (Zilina FC), Lumor Agbenyenu (Sporting Club), Yakubu Mohammed (Azam FC), Gideon Mensah (Vitoria de Guimaraes)

Centre Backs: Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg), Joseph Aidoo (Celta de Vigo), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens), Kassim Nuhu (Hoffenheim)

Midfielders: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens), Bernard Mensah (Besiktas), Baba Iddrisu (RCD Mallorca)

Attackers/Wingers: Andre Ayew (Swansea), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), John Antwi (Pyramids FC), Eugene Ansah (Hapoel Shmona), Jefferey Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Samuel Owusu (Al Fayha FC), Kamal Deen (Nordsjaelland SC), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax SC)