Vice President of the Ghana Football Association, George Afriyie, is not happy about Sports Minister’s suggestion that the handlers of the Black Stars should invite entirely local players to honour its last African Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda which comes off this Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium.
According to Nii Lante Vanderpuije, the state is cash strapped and cannot therefore pay for the tickets of the foreign-based players.
Vanderpuije further argued that Ghana has already qualified for the tournament and does not need any foreign player citing cost but the Black Stars Management Committee and the technical team have defied that orders by inviting foreign-based players.
Since the former journalist made that pronouncement, officials of the football governing body have expressed their displeasure about the comments, indicating that it’s not prudent to use only local players for such a game though the four-time African champions had qualified.
Afriyie, who doubles as the Black Stars Management Committee chairman believes that such call from the Minister would give room for Coach Avram Grant to come up with excuses should the Israeli fail to do well at the upcoming AFCON.
‘’There are areas you can make suggestions no doubt about that. We are a management team and our job is to make suggestions and make sure that our suggestions can aid the work of the coach, there is nothing wrong with that,’’ he told Kumasi-based Luv FM.
‘’But we cannot be imposing decisions. Remember once you do that, in football management and national team management there are a lot of things that come into play, the FIFA Ranking is very important but to say completely that we have qualified and we should use entirely a local team is not the best.
‘’Unfortunately for me coach Avram Grant just returned from Europe. I am yet to meet him but seriously I don’t think that if you have a coach of Avram Grant caliber he will accept it.
‘’Remember we have given him a task. Don’t create a situation where you would want to give him a room to say when I was preparing my team for the AFCON you people came and said I should use local players but that was the time I was going to look at certain players. Don’t create such an opportunity.’’
However, reports indicate that assistant captain of the team Andre Ayew has promised to pay for the fares of the players who are not financially sound at the moment.