Black Meteors coach Ibrahim Tanko explained why Cremonese forward Felix Afena-Gyan declined an invitation to join the team for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying round match against Algeria.
Tanko said that Afena-Gyan’s reason for rejecting the call-up was that he was not ready to join the team.
“I did my list and added Afena. I don’t know why he is not here. I personally spoke to his agent about four times and he told me the boy is not ready,” said Tanko.
Reports suggest that Afena-Gyan’s exclusion from the Black Stars’ World Cup squad is the real reason for his decision. Despite playing a crucial role in qualification, the striker was left out of the squad, causing him to feel upset.
Tanko, however, maintained that he did his best to persuade Afena-Gyan to join the team, but to no avail.
Tanko’s side secured their place in the 2023 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations tournament in Morocco with a 1-0 win over Algeria on Tuesday.
The victory came in the second leg of their qualifier, sealing a 2-1 aggregate win and marking their pathway to the Olympic Games.
The win keeps alive the Black Meteors’ dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games, a feat they have not achieved since 2004. To qualify, the team must be among the top three countries at the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations tournament, making their qualification prospects even more challenging.