Notable Ghanaian players who missed the boat to an AFCON

We have lined up Black Stars' squad victims in past African Cups.

Pulse Sports looks at the last 20 years' worth of Ghana players dropped at the last minute.

Charles Amoah, Charles Taylor and C.K Akonnor (2002)

Conspicuously missing from Ghana's roster for the 2002 AFCON team were injured trio Peter Ofori Quaye of Olympiacos, AC Parma's Stephen Appiah and Mohammed Gargo, a stalwart defender with Udinese.

However, the missing of names like Charles Amoah, Charles Taylor and CK Akonnor remains a misery till date.

During a Black Stars camp, a tearful Charles Taylor was being told by coach Osam Duodu that he had missed out on Mali 2002 when Charles Amoah burst into the room to confront the coach about his own situation.

"I am not injured. I don't have anybody to talk for me, Black Stars is now politics. We will play with consummate ease and sense of purpose that blind men will see goals coming,"

Charles Amoah, a leading top scorer for Sturm Graz in the Australian league, explained that he had a foot injury when he arrived at Black Stars camp, but he was told by the technical handlers and medical team to treat the injury at the 37 Military Hospital.

"It took two days to heal the wound. I reported to camp again but coach Osam Duodu told me to relax and treat my toe. Anytime i call the coach or i report to camp, i was to go back and treat my toe, meanwhile, the wound has been healed. I made a lot of  sacrifices during the qualifiers at a time many players were not keen on playing, but i was treated unfairly and was just dropped from the squad."

Charles Taylor had been crowned Ghana Premier League's most exciting footballer for the 2001 domestic season, but the dribbling magician of Hearts of Oak was surprisingly omitted from Osam Duodu's squad, a decision that propelled Hearts of Oak to issue an official grave concern on the dropping of their ace player and the nation’s local best footballer.

Part of the statement which was written by the Hearts' board secretary Ernest Thompson, stated:"...definitely, nobody is requesting that all our players should be selected, but to drop Charles Taylor is certainly too much. I know Stephen Appiah would not make it, though I know it was not due to sheer injury as being propounded but other factors, but in the absence of Stephen, who apart from Charles Taylor has the same flair?

Charles Taylor has been dropped from the Under 23 because of the Black Stars only to be shattered without any official concrete excuse being given except general phrases like indiscipline or injury being rumoured about...."

Incumbent Black Stars C.K Akonnor, who was also the skipper of German Bundisliga club, Wolfsburg, was also rooted out from the nation’s contingent to the Cup of Nation’s tournament in 2002 after he was deemed surplus to requirement. Other popular internationals like Greece-based Sam Johnson and Portugal-based Kwame Ayew have also been dropped from the squad.

After the Black Stars' squad announcement, Akonnor blamed his omission on what he described as detractors at the Ghana Football Association who forced coach Osam Duodu to drop him.

This compelled the FA to prevail upon deputy skipper, Samuel Osei Kuffour, to assume full responsibilities as the new Stars captain. However, series of talks with the Bayern Munich defender on the issue fell on the rocks as the player turned down the offer.

Kuffour, showed up at the tournament in Mali but was sacked from camp for an alleged act of insubordination. The Bayern Munich star was shown the exit door after he was accused of negatively affecting the dressing room after he complained about the quality of food and apparel provided the team.

Francis Dickoh (2008)

Injury played out captain Stephen Appiah and striker Mathew Amoah from trainer Claude Le Roy’s squad for the 2008 AFCON, hosted in Ghana.

Amoah and Appiah aside, young defender Dan Opare and Etoile du Sahel's Moussa Narry were axed from fiesta.

Although defenders John Mensah and injured Shilla Illiasu made the cut, it was the omission of FC Utretcht center back Francis Dickoh that caused a storm of controversy.

Coach Claude Le Roy named Mensah and Illiasu as the only two central defenders in his six-man defensive set up, with the remaining four being lateral defenders - Harrison Afful, Hans Adu Sarpei, Nana Akwasi Asare and John Painstil.

With John Mensah red carded in a quarter finals game against Nigeria, Illiasu's lingering metatarsal injury and Michael Essien's role shift from midfield to defence left Ghana critically short of strong central defensive pairing against Cameroon in the semi finals - a match Ghana eventually lost 1-0.

The Ayew brothers,  Rashid Sumaila and Sulley Muntari (2013)

Coach Kwesi Appiah named several players who made their debut in Africa's flagship tournament held in South Africa in January 2013 including five home-based players.

There was the shock inclusion of winger Albert Adomah, Richmond Boakye Yiadom, the local league's leading scorer Yahaya Mohammed (who was later dropped due to injury), Rabiu Mohammed and Mubarak Wakaso.

However, in a brave move, coach Appiah left out Jodan Ayew, who was in good form in France for Marseille. His elder brother, Andre Ayew was also dropped after he reportedly failed to report to camp to assess an inury he sustained whiles in action for Marseille. The situation angered Marseille's sporting director, Jose Anigo, who hit hard at the Black Stars technical bench for snubbing the midfielder.

“I do not understand why the technical team did not allow him to join again,” Anigo told the club's official website. “We released Ayew two days before the Saturday deadline. This is not good because Ayew is a fantastic player and has always given his best for Ghana in any tournament he plays. We have him back and he will be useful to us as we want to maintain our lead in the French Ligue 1.

Sulley Muntari also missed out on the boat despite recovering in time for the tournament in South Africa after six months lay off due to injury.

Coach Appiah sacrificed Rashid Sumaila, who was the best defender in Ghana Premier League by distance, and had to choose Maritzburg’s Awal Mohammed over the local player, claiming the latter fits well into his defensive masterplan.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: