Ghana may have beaten rivals Nigeria to win the inaugural WAFU Cup of Nations as hosts in 2017, but coach Maxwell Konadu’s ambition to defend his title is in serious doubt as the team is currently home with no date set for camping ahead of the tournament which begins seven weeks from now.
The 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations, which is the second edition of the tournament is slated to take place between 28 September-13 October 2019 in Senegal. Ghana, for that matter the Black Stars B have been drawn against Gambia during the draw held in May 2019, with the match to be played on September 28.
However, the Black Stars B have been kept waiting for the date to assemble for camping, leaving coach Maxwell Konadu and his assistant Dauda Lutterodt under intense pressure.
Fox Sports can exclusively confirm that the technical team, headed by head coach Maxwell Konadu are ever ready with their squad list for camping, but the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the GFA Normalization Committee have not provided means to grant the team the green light to commence comping.
It is worth noting however, that the team that won Ghana the WAFU title in 2017, comprising of skipper Isaac Twum, Vincent Atinga, Thomas Abbey, Kwame Kizito, Stephen Sarfo, Winful Cobbinah, Gideon Waja, Patrick Razak, Kelvin Andoh, Amos Frimpong, goalkeeper Joseph Addo etc, is completely no longer in place as non of these players is currently readily available for selection for the tournament which is weeks away. Consequently, Maxwell Konadu’s yet to be released squad for the pre-tournament camping will be entirely a new team, which will need more time for serious preparations to keep hopes of defending the title alive.
The team will be without players from the two most active clubs in the country now, Asante Kotoko and Ashanti Gold SC due to their CAF inter club completions which kicks off this weekend, while the technical team of the Black Stars B have already lost some players to the national U23 team (Black Meteors), who have began preparations for the qualifier against Algeria U23 side for the 2019 Africa U23 Championship to staged in Egypt.
It remains unclear when the Sports ministry will get the problem solved and the situation is increasingly causing unease for the technical team who have been hoping to have more time to get the players well conditioned and in good shape taking into consideration the in-activeness of the players due to the absence of competitive football in the country now.
“We don’t know when we are going to camp, we are ready even if we get the green light today, we will be in camp”, a source close to the team told Fox Sports.
Unconfirmed reports say, that the ministry is waiting for the Black Satellites (the national U-20 male team) to depart the M-Plaza Hotel where they’ve been camping ahead of the All African Games to be held in Morocco starting August 19, so the Black Stars B will move to the same hotel to begin preparations.
To recap, the Black Stars B have two separate assignments; CHAN qualifier against Burkina Faso, the first leg on September 20 before starting the WAFU tournament on September 28 against Gambia before the second leg against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou on October 18, 2019. The 2020 CHAN will be staged in Cameroon between January-February.