Hearts of Oak’s Salifu Ibrahim “Di Maria” did not travel with the Ghana U-23 squad that left Accra Tuesday night for Japan to play friendly matches against the Asian nation and South Korea.
The absence of the tricky winger, Citi Sports understands, was due to the Phobians’ reluctance to release their star player, whom they would need for crucial matches in the Ghana Premier League next week.
The same reason accounts for the absence of King Faisal forward Kwame Peprah, a player King Faisal believe will be crucial to their relegation dogfight.
The clubs had hoped the GFA would postpone next week’s round of matches in the Ghana Premier League to enable clubs release their players but an unwillingness to do so has forced some of the clubs to pull back key players from Paa Kwasi Fabin’s team.
Vitoria Guimaraes center back, Abdul Mumin, who was expecting to be named in the Black Stars team for their June friendlies, has also not joined up with the U-23 squad despite being named in the team.
Coach Samuel Kwasi Fabin’s side have been training at the Ghanaman Centre of Excellence in Prampram for the past two weeks ahead of the matches.
Ghana failed to qualify for the quadrennial games but will use the test matches to prepare for the next African Games scheduled for Accra in 2023.
The Black Meteors will take on Japan in two friendly matches scheduled for June 4 and 8 in Tokyo before travelling to South Korea to play on June 12 and 15, 2021.
Japan and South Korea will use the two games to test their readiness for the Olympic Games football competition.
Goalkeepers: Richmond Ayi (Hearts of Oak), William Esso (Vision FC)
Defenders: Samuel Ashie Quaye (Great Olympics), Frank Assinki (HB Koge), Frank Amoabeng (Cerignola), Ibrahim Moro (Asante Kotoko), Uzair Alhassan (Tamale Utrecht), Abdulai Sabit (Getafe CF)
Midfield: Emmanuel Essiam (Berekum Chelsea), Frimpong Boateng (King Faisal), Patrick Mensah (Heart of Lions), Kwame Adubofuor Poku (Colchester United), Osman Bukari (Genk)
Forwards: Jonah Attuquaye (Legon Cities), Percious Boah (Dreams FC), Samuel Obeng Gyabaa (Real Oviedo), Joselpho Barnes (Shalkeh 04), Diawusie Taylor (Karela United FC), Samuel Boakye (Eleven Wonders)