Ghana football chief Kwasi Nyantakyi has tasked Black Stars manager Avram Grant to return home from Gabon with the ultimate in the forthcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
In a press conference to announce the provisional 26-man Black Stars squad for the tournament in Accra yesterday, Nyantakyi expressed gross optimism about the team’s chances of lifting the trophy.
He poured cold water on wild allegation that the FA at a point decided to terminate the coach’s contract and described the allegations as bogus and unfounded.
“…We have not discussed the coach’s contract anywhere with anyone. I want to assure him that he has our backing and we are urging him on to go and bring the trophy,” he reiterated.
The FA chief rather pledged his outfit’s support for the Israeli trainer and charged him to go for the ultimate.
He defended the coach’s selection, indicating that the invitees are first and foremost Ghanaians, selected based on merit and has no worry about the absence on a local-based player.
Coach Grant was asked to go and do well when he was hired for the job and he finished as a losing finalist against Côte d’Ivoire on penalties when Equatorial Guinea hosted the tourney in 2015.
The competition which runs from January 14 to February 5 pits Ghana against Egypt, Mali and Uganda in the same group.
Meanwhile, the Stars left Accra yesterday for the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Al-Ain, to pitch a 12-day camp ahead of the Gabon showpiece.
While in the Gulf country, the team will play two friendlies and the FA boss explained that the choice of the place is due to climatic conditions and better training and accommodation facilities.
Below is the list that that made the trip to Al Ain:
Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Adam Kwarasey (Rosenborg, Norway) Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)
Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Andy Yiadom (Barnsley, England), Baba Rahman (Schalke, Germany), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi, Russia), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)
Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos, Greece), Christian Atsu (Newcastle, England), Ebenezer Ofori (AIK Stockholm, Sweden), Samuel Tetteh (Leifering, Austria), Joseph Larweh Attamah (Ba?ak?ehir, Turkey)
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ahli, UAE) Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Abdul-Majeed Waris (Lorient, France), Andre Ayew (West Ham, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), Bernard Tekpetey (Schalke, Germany), Raphael Dwamena (Austria Lustenau, Austria)
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum