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Why Ghana coach Akonnor recalled Wakaso and Schlupp for Afcon qualifiers

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Sports News of Saturday, 31 October 2020

Source: goal.com

Wakaso has been offered the chance to re-join the national team Wakaso has been offered the chance to re-join the national team

Ghana coach CK Akonnor believes the time is right for China-based midfielder Mubarak Wakaso to re-join the national team, leading to his inclusion in a 23-man squad for November’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Sudan.

The Jiangsu Suning ace has been handed a recall after being snubbed for international friendly matches against Mali and Qatar in the Turkish city of Antalya earlier this month.

Ghana are set to host Sudan on matchweek three of the Afcon qualifiers in Cape Coast on November 12, five days before travelling for a return fixture away.

“For him [Wakaso], I spoke to him when we were going to Antalya,” Akonnor said, as reported by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) official website after unveiling his latest squad.

“His time is up to join us and received that message in a very good manner and he’s here again to support the team with his rich experience.”

Crystal Palace midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp has also been given a second straight opportunity to make a return to national duty, having missed a chance to make a comeback during the Mali and Qatar friendlies due to injury.

He last featured for the Black Stars in March 2019.

“He [Schlupp] had the chance to come, he has also been away for some time,” Akonnor said of the Germany-born.

“But unfortunately, when we were about to go to Turkey, he got injured and I think I still want to keep that team and now that he’s fit and doing well, he has a chance of coming to help us.”

Ghana have also handed recalls to Columbus Crew right-back Harrison Afful, who last represented the Black Stars in 2018, and the duo of Chelsea left-back Abdul Rahman Baba and FC Metz captain John Boye, who have been out of the national set-up since the 2019 Afcon in Egypt.

Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew and Guimaraes left-back Gideon Mensah have also been called up for the upcoming games after recovering from the coronavirus contracted on their last time out with the Black Stars.

Trabzonspor forward Caleb Ekuban and Celta Vigo centre-back Joseph Aidoo, who both also tested positive for coronavirus on their return from Ghana’s October friendlies, have been selected as well.

Germany U20 attacker Jamie Leweling has also been drafted into the Ghana set-up, two months after scoring for the Europeans in a fixture against Denmark.

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