Ghana will not sideline recovered coronavirus-struck players from October’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Sudan, football association (GFA) communications director Henry Asante Twum has stated.
The West African nation’s football’s governing body has come under criticism for perceived negligence as about seven players of the Black Stars who faced Mali and Qatar in friendly matches earlier this month, tested positive for the deadly disease upon their return from international duty to their clubs.
Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew is undoubtedly the biggest star on the sick list, which also includes Celta Vigo defender Joseph Aidoo, Hoffenheim centre-back Kasim Nuhu Adams and Besiktas midfielder Bernard Mensah.
Vitoria Guimaraes left-back Gideon Mensah and Trabzonspor striker Caleb Ekuban also contracted the virus.
“It is unfortunate our players have contracted the virus,” Asante Twum told Asempa FM.
“We ensured that every player and management member followed the protocols before and after the games. There were automated hand sanitizer machines at the hotel the team was lodging in and the same at the stadia we used for the matches.
“Tests were conducted every day to ensure we were all safe but it is unfortunate this has happened.
“We did not force these players to come and play for the national team but once they came, you take their health into consideration. We wish them well because we will still need their services next month.
“This is a virus that can be in your system and you cannot determine it but I don’t think accusing the Ghana Football Association of failing to do the right thing is the right way.
“We did our best to ensure we all stayed safe but it did not happen.”
Ghana first faced Mali on October 9, losing 3-0 in the friendly fixture in the Turkish city of Antalya. Before the game, some members of Mali’s playing body tested positive for the coronavirus disease and were promptly withdrawn from the squad.
On October 12, the Black Stars took on Asian champions and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, responding to their earlier defeat with an impressive 5-1 triumph.
In November, CK Akonnor’s outfit is set to take on Sudan in a double-header of games.
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