Black Stars coach Chris Hughton on Tuesday named a 24-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Madagascar in June.
Surprisingly, the squad does not include any players from the Ghana Premier League, despite Hughton’s extensive presence at numerous league games this season. Hughton’s dedication to attending these matches has garnered widespread acclaim from fans and observers.
The squad has left many perplexed by the absence of local players. Hughton has not provided any explanation for this decision, leaving room for speculation among fans and pundits alike.
It is possible that the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager deems the local talents not yet prepared for the intensity of such a crucial match.
The Black Stars must secure either a victory or a draw against Madagascar away from home to secure qualification for next year’s AFCON tournament in Ivory Coast.
The last inclusion of local-based players in a Black Stars squad occurred in November 2022, when Daniel Afriyie Barnieh of Hearts of Oak and Ibrahim Danlad of Asante Kotoko were called up for the 2022 World Cup.
As anticipation builds for the upcoming match on Sunday, June 18, 2023, at Stade Kianja Barea in Antananarivo, Hughton’s squad selection continues to spark discussion and intrigue.