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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Ghana squad announced for 2022 FIFA World Cup

Ghana national team manager Otto Addo’s 26-man squad list for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was announced on Monday as the Black Stars get ready to prepare for action in Group H. Arsenal midfielder and Ghana captain Thomas Partey headlines the squad along with the Ayew brothers, André and Jordan, who are the only players in the team to have appeared in past editions of the world football showcase. Playmakers Mohammed Kudus and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh also compose the midfield corps along with central midfielders Salis Abdul Samed and Elisha Owusu.

Southampton center back Mohammed Salisu will make his competitive debut for the Black Stars and is likely to partner defensive stalwart Alexander Djiku. Brighton right back Tariq Lamptey is another projected starter who will make his competitive debut in Qatar after switching international allegiance from England and appearing in September’s friendly matches with veteran Denis Odoi also a reliable option on the right flank. Daniel Amartey is a versatile option for Addo in defense while Gideon Mensah and Baba Rahman battle for the starting spot at left back.

Ghanaian media sources indicated in the past few days that talented young striker Felix Afena-Gyan would not be called after starting in the qualifying playoff round victory over Nigeria and that news was confirmed. Athletic Bilbao forward Iñaki Williams will lead the line up top and joins Bristol City forward Antoine Semenyo as players who recently switched to representing the Black Stars. Winger Kamal Sowah made Addo’s list after impressing with Belgium’s Club Brugge during the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League.

The starter in goal during qualifying, Joe Wollacott, is unavailable due to injury as well as Orlando Pirates custodian Richard Ofori leaving Addo with a decision to make at the goalkeeper position. European-based shot stoppers Lawrence Ati-Zigi and Abdul Manaf Nurudeen will compete with talented 19-year-old Asante Kotoko keeper Danlad Ibrahim for the starting position. Ibrahim joins Hearts of Oak forward Daniel Afriyie Barnieh as the only players in the squad who compete in the Ghana Premier League.

See the full list of players below. Ghana start their campaign with a highly anticipated duel against Group H favorites Portugal on November 24.

Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St. Gallen- Switzerland), Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen- Belgium), Danlad Ibrahim (Asante Kotoko)

Defenders: Denis Odoi (Club Brugge- Belgium), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton- England), Mohammed Salisu (Southampton- England), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City- England), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg- France), Baba Rahman (Reading- England), Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux- France), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo- Spain), Alidu Seidu (Clermont- France)

Midfielders: Thomas Partey (Arsenal- England), Salis Abdul Samed (Lens- France), Elisha Owusu (Gent- Belgium), Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (Freiburg- Germany), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax- Netherlands), André Ayew (Al-Sadd- Qatar)

Forwards: Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace- England), Kamaldeen Sulemana (Rennes- France), Iñaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao- Spain), Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City- England), Daniel Afriyie Barnieh (Hearts of Oak), Kamal Sowah (Club Brugge- Belgium), Osman Bukari (Red Star Belgrade- Serbia), Abdul Issahaku Fatawu (Sporting CP- Portugal)