Some foreign-based players have decided at this opportune moment to switch nationality to play for Ghana at the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted by Qatar in November.
Although most of these players had turned down several invitations to play for Ghana in the past, they have suddenly announced their sudden readiness to play.
The Ghana Football Association has gingerly announced the players’ decision to play for the Black Stars as they believe they will augment the strength and quality of the team.
They have also hinted that the inclusion of these perceived highly-rated players will improve Ghana’s chances of exacting vengeance on Uruguay, defeating Ronaldo’s Uruguay, and triumphing over South Korea to advance further in the competition.
It could all be just a figment of the GFA’s wishful imagination.
Below is the profile of the foreign-based players who have agreed to play for Ghana at the Qatar World Cup 2022.
1, Iñaki Williams – Athletic Bilbao
Inaki Williams Arthur is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a forward for Athletic Bilbao and has made more than 300 appearances for the team.
Inaki Williams’ parents were born in Accra, Ghana. In an interview, he said, “My parents are from Accra, and I enjoy going.” But I wasn’t born or raised there, my culture’s here, and there are players for whom it would mean more.
The GFA’s push to get Inaki Williams to play for the Black Stars started during the tenure of Kwesi Nyantakyi, but it appears this will be the right time for Inaki Williams to play for the Black Stars.
The 27-year-old made his full debut for Spain in 2016. Inaki Williams has Ghanaian, Liberian, and Spanish nationalities. However, he had said a year ago that he did not feel “Ghanaian” enough to play for Ghana. All of a sudden, he has decided to play for the Black Stars.
Read the elaborate profile of Iñaki Williams HERE.
2, Tariq Lamptey – Brighton and Hove Albion
Tariq Kwame Nii-Lante Lamptey is an English professional footballer who currently plays as a right-winger for Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League and the England under-21 national team.
Tariq Lamptey is of Ghanaian heritage and was born in England.
The 21-year-old did not state a desire to play for Ghana publicly, but the GFA has managed to coerce him into accepting the offer to play for the Black Stars.
Read the elaborate profile of Tariq Lamptey HERE.
3, Mohammed Salisu – Southampton
Mohammed Salisu Abdul Karim is a Ghanaian footballer who now plays as a centre-back for Southampton in the Premier League.
Salisu began his senior career with Valladolid, where he played for the reserve squad before breaking into the first team in 2019.
Salisu was named in Kwesi Appiah’s team for the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Africa and So Tomé and Principe in November 2019, marking his first call-up to Ghana’s senior side. He withdrew from the team due to injury concerns.
Earlier, the former Rayo Valladolid defender, who is 22 years old, had stated that he would only play for Ghana when he was ready. There have, however, been appeals for him to play for the Black Stars in the World Cup, which he has eventually heeded.
Read the elaborate profile of Mohammed Salisu HERE.
4, Stephen Kofi Ambrosius — Hamburger SV.
A 23-year-old born on December 18, 1998, Stephan Kofi Ambrosius is a professional footballer who currently plays for Hamburger SV in the 2. Bundesliga.
Ambrosius, who was born in Hamburg to Ghanaian parents, joined the Hamburger SV youth academy in 2012. In March 2018, he made his professional debut in the Bundesliga.
Stephan Ambrosius was born to Ghanaian parents in Hamburg. He grew up in the Wilhelmsburg district.
Ambrosius was also eligible to play for Ghana because his parents were born there. Ambrosius was called up by German under-21 coach Stefan Kuntz in early October 2020 due to numerous cancellations in his playing position by Nico Schlotterbeck and Maxim Leitsch.
Read the elaborate profile of Stephen Kofi Ambrosius HERE.
Other Foreign-Based Players the GFA is pursuing:
- Callum-Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea)
- Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao)
- Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer (Hamburger SV)
- Eddie Nketsiah (Arsenal)
The Kevin-Prince Boateng Precedence
Prior to the 2010 World Cup, which was hosted in South Africa, Ghanaians heard of the name Kevin-Prince Boateng, who was introduced to the Black Stars.
The explanation for his inclusion was that he had special qualities to help Ghana do well in the world, with reference made to the somewhat failed performance of the Black Stars in 2006.
Many did not hear of Kevin-Prince Boateng after the 2010 World Cup came to an end for the Black Stars following Asamoah Gyan’s infamous penalty miss, which was orchestrated by Luiz Suarez’s dramatic shenanigans.
In 2014, Kevin-Prince Boateng, after his hiatus from the Black Stars, reared his head and was again shamelessly ready to represent Ghana at the World Cup in Brazil… That episode ended abysmally.
New faces have been introduced as the same line has been towed without any caution or discretion.
What happens to the players who painstakingly qualified the team for the World Cup? How fast do these new players get acclimatised to the team culture, superstition, etc? How sure are we that the inclusion of these players will be the Midas touch for the Black Stars?
I remain pessimistic about the fortunes of the Black Stars at the 2022 World Cup. It will not yield much.