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WC Qualification Africa

Ex-Ghana star Owusu highlights Black Stars' challenge ahead of Nigeria duel

2:37 AM MYT 04/03/2022
Alexander Diku Iddrisu Baba Ghana
The ex-forward outlines a problem of the current national team set-up ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Former Ghana striker Dan Owusu believes poor player selection remains one of the nation’s biggest challenges to build a formidable national team.

The Black Stars, who face archrivals Nigeria in 2022 World Cup qualifying later this month, are looking to rise from what was an abysmal performance at the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

In Cameroon, four-time champions Ghana suffered first-round elimination after losing to minnows and debutants Comoros and finishing bottom of their group.

“To get a strong starting line-up for the Black Stars now is very difficult. Every coach has players he calls which brings inconsistency to the team,” Owusu, who won the Ghana Premier League top scorer award on three occasions during his playing days, told Bryt FM.

“We have many Ghanaian players locally and others in Europe who are very good footballers yet when coaches are making call ups, they choose more foreign players than the local players.

“If we are able to build our [local] league well we can easily make call ups which will yield productive results. Local players always want to make a name for themselves and for that matter, will go all out and give out their best to the team.

“During our time as Black Stars players there was a constituency in our call ups, so we were able to deliver during matches. But now we haven’t gotten a solid team for the national team which makes it bad.”

Against Nigeria, Ghana will hope to emerge victorious over two legs of matches to secure qualification for the World Cup and appease their fans.

Success will also ensure a return to the global gathering following their absence at the 2018 championship in Russia.

Former Ghana and Hearts of Oak winger Bernard Don Bortey is optimistic ahead of the games.

“Ghana, Nigeria is a different ball game all together considering the rivalry between us,” he said.

“At first, it was not about names but this time around the players will count.

“I believe in Ghana; I believe in the players and I believe Ghana will qualify.”

Ghana have not won a major title at senior level since winning Afcon 1982 in Libya.