After rebuffing overtures from Ghana’s topmost clubs in the summer, free-agent Umar Basiru has signed for East African side Ethiopian Insurance FC.
The move effectively rules the exciting lanky midfielder out of the reckoning for a place in Ghana’s final squad for the upcoming 2022 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament in Algeria early next year.
The January 13 to February 4, 2023 competition is – per design – reserved for players plying their trades in their home countries.
Umar played a key role in the Black Galaxies’ qualification for the first time since 2014 – after missing the last three editions.
But signing a one-year deal with the Ethiopian Premier League outfit on Thursday, October 13 means the 25-year-old cannot represent Ghana at CHAN 2022 unless there is a rule change by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) before the 18-team competition kicks off.
Umar – after scoring 13 goals in 33 appearances for Karela United in the 2021/22 Ghana Premier League – was courted by Asante Kotoko who wanted him for a second spell as well as rivals Hearts of Oak. But he turned both clubs down holding out for a move abroad.
Black Galaxies path
Ghana and holders Morocco will face off at the Algeria 2022 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) after being grouped together along with Sudan and Madagascar.
Coach Annor Walker’s charges find themselves in a tough Group C with Madagascar whom they kick-start their campaign against Madagascar on Sunday, January 15 before taking on Sudan in their second game four days later.
Ghana also face Morocco – winners of the last two editions – in their final group match on Monday, January 23.