Soccer News of Monday, 29 August 2016
Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye has slammed the Black Stars management as ‘lazy’ for refusing to name a squad full of home-based players for this week’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda.
The controversial government appointee issued a late order four days ago that only home-based players must be used for the match against the Wasps in Accra on Saturday.
His order, which was not official and first issued on Whatsapp group and radio stations, came one week after coach Avram Grant named his squad.
According to FIFA regulations clubs must be given 14 days’ notice before their players are called to the national team yet the Minister defied the world body’s regulation by saying foreign players should not be called up for the match even though their invitations had been sent to meet the deadline.
But true to his depraved modus operandi following clamour from his group of journalists, Vanderpuye issued his order saying Ghana had already qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations and don’t need to call foreign based players citing cost.
However coach Avram Grant insists he needs his top players to start preparing for the World Cup qualifiers which start in just four weeks.
And with limited time for preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations in four months in Gabon, such matches give the coach the rare chance of seeing his players in action to help in the formation of his squad in future.
Angered by the decision to stick with the squad, Vanderpuye ordered for air tickets not to be sent to the players to come for the game.
But in a massive show of patriotism the players have decided to pay their own airtickets to honour the match to avert a CAF ban from the AFCON.
Deputy captain Andre Ayew has also paid for the player who are unable to afford the tickets which looks to have shamed Vanderpuye and stretched his credibility.
Now the blundering government officials has pointed his attack on the Black Stars management for the decision to stick with foreign-based players, citing Rwanda’s squad.
“If Rwanda can raise a national team from their local league and Ghana cannot do this, it is mere laziness” Vanderpuye told Happy FM.
Head Coach Avram Grant is yet to welcome his squad in Accra for training since the players are yet to arrive due the minister’s claim of not using money to fly in players from abroad.
Ghana have ready qualified for next year’s tournament having amassed thirteen (13) points so far from 5 games played but the World Cup qualifiers are looming and such matches are used to prepare the squad.
Ghana’s position on the FIFA ranking will also be greatly undermined if the strongest squad is not presented leading to a defeat.