WC Qualification Africa

Ghana to face Nigeria without Andre Ayew, Wakaso and Mensah by Nyantakyi’s suggestion

4:43 PM GMT 11/02/2022
Andre Ayew Ghana Afcon 2022
The former GFA boss believes young blood is needed to energise the Black Stars for success

Captain Andre Ayew, China-based Mubarak Wakaso and Columbus Crew skipper Jonathan Mensah are among a list of players to miss out on Ghana’s squad for their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying clash with Nigeria if suggestions of embattled former Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi are anything to go by.

Speaking on GTV Sports Plus on Thursday, Nyantakyi, who was GFA president from 2005 until a bribery and corruption scandal collapsed his administration in 2018, believes one of the major problems of the current Black Stars set-up is the reliance on ageing players, culminating in the team’s underwhelming performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Ayew, 32, Wakaso, 31 and Mensah, 31 were all part of the four-time champions’ contingent at the continental showpiece, where Ghana exited the competition at the group stage.

The skipper is already suspended for the first leg fixture in Ghana owing to a red card copped in the Black Stars' final Afcon game.

“Football is for young players, and I had this policy at Wa All-Stars [now Legon Cities, when I was president of the club],” Nyantakyi said when asked what he felt were the reasons behind Ghana’s recent problems.

“I always said that any player over 30 years old is no longer a footballer but a politician. He is coming to destroy your team for you, they will come and cause agitations and all kinds of things.”

After their Afcon disappointment, Ghana are looking to bounce back with a win over nemesis Nigeria to qualify for the World Cup.

In pursuit of their quest, the GFA have named former Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton and Borussia Dortmund assistant coach Otto Addo in a new technical team for the tie against the Super Eagles next month.

“All that is required of us is to support the GFA so we can qualify to the World Cup, we have only two games and it is not the time to start blaming anybody,” Nyantakyi added.

“Otto Addo, I believe has had some experience and with Chris Hughton, as the technical advisor, we just have to support these fine brains, so we qualify for the World Cup.”

Nyantakyi was also deputy-Caf president when his football world fell apart. The corruption scandal earned him a lifetime ban from football, a suspension later reduced to 15 years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He was convicted of breaking Fifa's rules relating to conflicts of interest, bribery and corruption following an Anas Aremeyaw Anas-led investigative documentary.