2023 AFCON Qualifiers: Ghana’s September doubleheader against Angola postponed
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed the September 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying doubleheader between Ghana and Angola.
The matches will now hold in March 2023.
“The postponement of the Cup of Nations offered an opportunity to reschedule the remaining qualifying matches,” a document addressed to the members of the executive committee of the CAF read.
“It also makes it possible to open the dates in September to international friendly matches for preparation for the World Cup.”
CAF has already postponed the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations to January 2024.
The decision was made by the CAF due to unfavourable weather conditions in Cote d’Ivoire during the summer.
The biennial competition was originally set to take place in June 2023.
The latest decision means Black Stars will now use the September international window to engage in friendlies ahead of the 2022 World Cup to be staged in Qatar from November 21-December 18.
Ghana have already scheduled a friendly against Switzerland seven days before their first match in Qatar.
Black Stars will play Portugal, South Korea and then wrap up their group stage campaign against Uruguay in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup quarter-final clash.
For the AFCON qualifiers, Ghana lead their group with four points after beating Madagascar 3-0 and sharing the spoils 1-1 with Central African Republic, both games taking place in June.
AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Jojo Wollacott suffers injury during Black Stars training ahead of Angola clash
On Tuesday evening, Ghana goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott suffered a new injury during a Black Stars training session in Kumasi.
Wollacott was injured during training at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium when a goalpost fell on him.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper, who recently recovered from a finger injury that kept him out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, was helped to his feet before limping off the pitch.
Wollacott will have a scan to determine the extent of his injury before the Angola doubleheader.
The first leg will take place on March 23 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, with the second leg scheduled for March 27 in Luanda.
Ghana is currently tied for first place in Group E, with four points earned from their previous two matches, which included a 3-0 win over Madagascar and a 1-1 draw with the Central African Republic in June of last year.
Jerome Otchere’s Take: Why Hughton impressed me
Black Stars coach Chris Hughton lived up to expectation at the press conference in Kumasi, which officially unveiled him to the Ghanaian. Some have argued that for a coach of his make, he wouldn’t underperform at a press event. I agree with that.
For any candid review, too, Chris Hughton’s responses to questions, his depth of knowledge and composure wouldn’t also escape attention. I believe he’s the coach Ghana should’ve had a year back but there’s no need elaborating on that point.
I take a leaf from a decent answer Hughton gave on the issue of interference in selection to say, we must leave the past behind and focus on the future. “All I can say is, I am the new head coach. Anything you speak of before my time here is very much something you’re bringing up. It’s in the past,” said Chris Hughton.
An AFCON qualifier awaits us on Thursday against Angola. Hughton has already named his squad. What lies ahead is what presently matters. Thus, in our forward march, Hughton made modest promises.
“I will be spending more time in Ghana. I will be watching more games. I am constantly being made aware of players who are doing well. I’ll be paying more attention to [GPL] games because it is important that we have a strong national league” he said.
“No coach can sit here and guarantee a trophy buy what I can guarantee is a strong team. We want to see a winning team”. In all, relevant questions were asked, and Hughton answered them well like the one concerning his contract. It’s been argued that discussions on his contract are needless, but that position is flawed.
When we’ve not kept a coach for long in recent years, there’s every need to ask what Hughton makes of his 21-month contract. “I have to get the right balance of what’s short-term, what’s medium term, and what’s long term. At this moment, always the most important is short-term. Winning football matches that’ll get you into a better position to when the other games come around.
“The medium term of course is making sure that you all qualify and do well in the competition itself. The longer term, of course, is about developing players and bringing players through the system and that takes time. There’s no doubt, as a team that played in the World Cup with the youngest team, we’ve to have an eye on development.
“And development can take time and sometimes this is where you need that little bit of patience from the likes of yourself, the journalists, the supporters” said Hughton. “So, the length of my contact is probably the correct length”.
That enlightened answer on his contract is why Hughton impressed me. We’ve been on this short-term Black Stars coaching business. The responses you get from people you expect to know better, is as if you’re an enemy of state who hates progress. Hughton, by that informed response and the others he gave showed why we must support him.
AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Koln winger Kingsley Schindler replaces injured Tariq Lamptey
Black Stars coach Chris Hughton has called up German-born Ghanaian winger Kingsley Schindler for the game against Angola.
Tariq Lamptey, who is out with an injury, was replaced by the 29-year-old.
The Koln winger is making his first national team appearance and could make his debut against Angola on Thursday.
This season, the former Holstein Kiel winger has been consistent for FC Koln, appearing in 20 Bundesliga games.
Schindler arrived in Ghana on Monday and began training with the rest of the team as preparations for the game in Kumasi began.
Meanwhile, seventeen players arrived at camp, with the remainder of the team expected to arrive today before the squad departs for Kumasi on Tuesday.
Abdul Manaf Nurudeen, Joseph Wollacott, Alexander Djiku, Denis Odoi, Kingsley Schindler, Patrick Kpozo, Daniel Amartey, Joseph Aidoo, Andre Ayew, Joseph Painstil, Ransford Yeboah, Inaki Williams, Antoine Semenyo, Jordan Ayew, Mohammed Salisu, Majeed Ashimeru and Edmund Addo were the players in camp.
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