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Afcon 2021Q: Ayew brothers, Partey to link up with Black Stars for Sao Tome game

The Ghana FA is hopeful of getting England-based trio – Thomas Partey, Andre and Jordan Ayew – to join the Black Stars for the final Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against São Tomé and Principe at home.

The players were left out of coach CK Akonnor’s released 29-man squad for the March internationals due to COVID reasons.

The English clubs have been reluctant to release the players because Ghana is billed to visit one of the United Kingdom’s COVID ‘red list’ countries.

South Africa – who host the Black Stars on March 25 – currently feature on the UK government’s list, meaning the trio would be forced into a 10-day quarantine upon their return from the qualifiers.

Ghana find themselves in a tricky situation in Group C of the Afcon qualifiers. They sit tops but tie on points with next opponents South Africa who they will be facing with a weak squad next week.

A defeat in Johannesburg would put the Black Stars under immense pressure to defeat São Tomé in the final qualifier at the Accra Sports Stadium on March 28, hence the move by the Ghana FA to secure its big stars at least for the game.

Arteta hint

Last Wednesday, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hinted star midfielder Partey could be available to play one match for Ghana during the international break.

“The ones that are going to be in red zone countries, they won’t be able to play those fixtures, the rest we have to allow them to go if they are fit and we will stick to the protocols and all the guidance we have to try to allow our players to go when they are safe.

“Some might be able to play one game and not the next game so it’s a lot still to figure out. The doctor is in constant communication with the Premier League and the federations but it’s not too simple,” Arteta stated.

The top two teams in Group C will qualify for the COVID-delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament which will be staged in Cameroon next year.



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