Accra, Jan. 7, GNA – Black Stars Coach, Kwesi Appiah, has dropped Andre Ayew, from his squad two days before furnishing his 23 man team to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the Africa Cup of Nations slated for South Africa, later this month.
Appiah currently preparing his team in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the biannual event said in a statement on Monday, that his decision to exclude the midfielder from his plans was hinged on Ayew’s inability to join the Black Stars in time.
‘The decision to exclude Andre from the squad is as a result of his inability to join the team by Monday morning for Ghana’s team doctors to assess the extent of his injury and fitness for the tournament. I have decided to work only with the players currently in camp.
‘All the players were given the deadline of Saturday, January 5, to report to camp in Abu Dhabi and unfortunately Andre did not turn up despite being released by his club and air tickets provided by the GFA for him to travel from France to beat the deadline.’
Appiah who will be leading the Black Stars to the competition for the first time as the head coach recounted, ‘as he did not turn up by Saturday night, I ordered for him to be contacted over his absence but he said he could not depart from France because he was seeing his doctors.’
Ayew’s posture contradicted earlier agreement reached between his club, Marseille and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to have the player join the team for his purported hamstring to be accessed by the Black Stars’ medical team.
Marseille last week requested to keep the midfielder for five days to ascertain the degree of his injury, which the GFA turned down, requesting the player to submit himself to the medical team of the Black Stars for examination and possible treatment.
While the French club released the winger to join the Black Stars camp on Saturday, January 5, Appiah, said ‘unfortunately, Andre failed to report to camp and indicated that owing to the treatment he was receiving from his doctor, he would report to camp on Wednesday, January 9.
‘He was further advised to endeavor to report to the camp by latest Monday January 7, because Wednesday, January 9, was the deadline for submission of the list of 23 players to CAF.
‘As Andre plans to arrive on Tuesday it means he would be unable to join any of my six training sessions before CAF’s deadline for the submission of the final squad. In line with my vision of taking only fit players for the Africa Cup of Nations, I have decided to work only with the players currently in camp.’
Appiah said ‘I have personally explained the rationale behind the decision to Andre and I will continue to count on him in future matches if he is fit.’
The South Africa event which spans January 19-February 10 will have been Ayew’s fourth at the continental level.
Ghana is housed in Group Be alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Mali.