Ghanaians hoping to see Callum Hudson-Odoi, Bernard Tekpetey, Kwabena Owusu, and a host of others in a Black Stars jersey at the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be disappointed.
Citi Sports, Evans Ofotsu Manso captures eight (8) absentees of Otto Addo’s 55-man provisional squad worth highlighting.
English-born Ghanaian, Callum Hudgson-Odoi is eligible to represent Black Stars from November 2022 due to his heritage.
The 21-year-old’s nationality switch falls under a FIFA rule which states players that who have played three or fewer international games before the age of 21 are allowed to switch allegiances if they choose to.
The Chelsea winger has not played for England since he featured in a 4-0 win against Kosovo on 17th November 2022.
The Bayer Leverkusen winger has played 7 times in the Bundesliga for Leverkusen recording an assist.
Hudson-Odoi has also had a good campaign in the UEFA Champions League scoring once in six appearances.
Despite a good season for Ludogorets, Bernard Tekpetey will be watching the world cup from his couch.
The 25-year-old has hit the back of the net 7 times in the Bulgarian League.
Tekpetey has also provided 3 assists in the league in 13 matches.
In European football, the attacker played 8 times in the Europa League, registering 2 assists as Ludogorets dropped to the UEFA Conference League.
His last game for the Black Stars was at the 2017 AFCON.
Razak Abalora’s last match for Ghana was a 1-0 loss against Morocco in an international friendly.
The former Asante Kotoko goalkeeper is yet to feature in the Moldovan League this season for Sheriff Tiraspol.
However, the 26-year-old played 6 times in the UEFA Champions League Qualifying against Viktoria Plzen, NK Maribor, and Zrinjski Mostar.
Abalora who has 4 national team caps has never played for Ghana at a major tournament and that trend will continue.
Patrick Pfeiffer will have to wait a bit longer to make his debut for Ghana after switching allegiance mid-year.
The 23-year-old born in Germany missed out on Otto Addo’s list for last September’s International friendly matches against Brazil and Nicaragua.
The Ex-Germany U19 Captain has scored three goals in 12 Bundesliga 2 matches for Darmstadt.
Emmanuel Boateng set his sights on a return to the Black Stars ahead of Qatar 2022, when he joined Rio Ave in August this year.
However, that is now a mirage as he is out of the fray for a World Cup appearance.
The former Ghana U20 forward has played 7 games in the Portuguese League, scoring thrice.
Boateng who made his debut under Kwesi Appiah will certainly rue missing the world cup.
Tagged as a favourite of Ex-Ghana Coach, CK Akonnor, Emmanuel Lomotey has found no favour in the eyes of the Black Stars Technical Team.
His last Ghana game was on September 6, 2021, against South Africa in a 2022 World Cup Qualifier.
Lomotey battled with injuries in his early days at Malmo FF in Sweden this season.
He has had to struggle for playing time since he returned making two appearances in the Swedish League.
It’s been three years since Kwabena Yeboah got the chance to represent Ghana.
The 25-year old striker has eight goals in 24 matches in all competitions for Qarabag FK in Azerbaijan.
The former Black Meteors goal poacher has featured in 10 Azerbaijan League matches, 6 Europa League games and 8 UEFA Champions League Qualifiers this campaign.
Philemon Baffour has always courted lots of criticism during his time at the Black Stars.
The Dreams FC full back has moved to the Youth Team of Rio Ave in Portugal.
The Under 20 graduate’s development has been slower than expected after playing a key role in Ghana’s African Under 20 title winning team. Tabbed as a talent to develop by having a consistent run out with the Black Stars in various national camps, Baffour was a familiar face for national call ups.
Through his consistent association with the Black Stars and recent move to Rio Ave, it is quite a surprise Baffour was left of the Black Stars list even if it is only a provisional one.
ABDUL AZIZ YAKUBU
The 6 foot 2 inch 22 year old striker has had a very good start to life in the 2022-2023 season with Portuguese outfit Rio Ave. He has started in all 11 league games played this season scoring five goals and adding three assist in the process.
In the 2020-2021 season while playing at Portugal lower tier side Estoril Praia, Yakubu produced 12 goals and two assists in 28 league games.
Yakubu is one of Ghana’s most productive strikers this season while competing in a league ranked seventh on UEFA’s coefficient list.
Despite producing a solid return of goals throughout his career, the Tamale born forward has flown under the radar of Black Stars handlers and his omission is further credence to the constant snub he gets from Black Stars selectors.
The 25 year old Atanga got off to a barnstorming start to the season by bagging three goals in five games in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League for KV Oostende registering an assist in the period.
However, a three game suspension due to an unfortunate sending off incident slowed the speedy winger down but his talent shone through immediately on his return where he scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Zulte Waregem.
Atanga is a versatile (can play on both wings and on the right side of midfield), crafty and pacy winger who excels in one on one situations and is a constant threat to opposing teams. In addition to his performance in a higher ranked league, Atanga deserved to be included in the provisional Black Stars list.