Nyantakyi sees nothing wrong with Ayew’s senior players comments

Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kwesi Nyantakyi sees no problem with Andre Ayew’s claims that senior players may have an advantage in the final 2022 World Cup squad.

Ayew in a recent interview with Al Jazeera said, while no player is guaranteed a spot in Ghana’s World Cup squad, senior players may have an advantage.

Following the addition of new players, Ghana coach Otto Addo has a large pool from which to choose his 26-man squad for the tournament.

Inaki Williams, Tariq Lamptey, Mohammed Salisu, and two former Germany youth internationals, Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer and Stephan Ambrosius, have made themselves available and are competing for places in the final squad with players who contributed to qualification.

“The newcomers are talented, but we already have a strong team that qualified for the World Cup, so every position is competitive. Apart from senior players who may have an advantage, I believe no one is guaranteed a place in the squad just yet. Everyone must prove their quality on the field and everyone has a chance, giving the coach more options and solutions, formations, and I believe it is beneficial to have new players with the right mentality,” Ayew said.

Ayew has been criticised by the majority of Ghanaians, but Nyantakyi claims the captain was free to express his views.

“What Andre Ayew said about senior players having Black Stars call-up advantage is his own opinion. He’s not the coach. He even said senior players may have the advantage of selection but it is not automatic because, on many occasions, senior players have been dropped for younger players,” Nyantakyi told Kings TVGH Sports, a YouTube channel.

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Nyantakyi, who led Ghana football from 2005 to 2018, added that the final decision would be made by coach Otto Addo.

“The final selection for Black Stars for the World Cup depends on the coach. The management will first ask him the criteria for selection. Some of the criteria is experience. In every position, you have about two or three people to fill them but the final decision lies with the coach.”

Otto Addo is expected to name his final squad in early November, with the tournament set to begin on November 20, with the Black Stars taking the field four days later.

Black Stars’ first match is against former European champions Portugal, led by Ronaldo, followed by South Korea and then Uruguay in a rematch of the 2010 quarterfinal match in South Africa, which the South Americans won on penalties.