2023 AFCON: Thomas Partey’s absence will not affect Black Stars

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AL RAYYAN, QATAR – NOVEMBER 28: Thomas Partey of Ghana controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Korea Republic and Ghana at Education City Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Ghana Football Association (GFA) Executive Council Member Nana Oduro Sarfo is confident that the absence of Thomas Partey will not impact the performance of the Black Stars at the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Arsenal midfielder, recovering from a hamstring injury sustained after the October international break, was not included in Ghana’s final 27-man squad for the tournament in Ivory Coast, set to kick off in 11 days.

Although Partey recently returned to training on the field, he did not cut the final squad.

Oduro Sarfo emphasized the impracticality of including an injured player in the AFCON roster, stating, “I don’t see why we should carry an injured player to the African Cup of Nations; the injury is something we cannot hide, it is out there in the public.”

He expressed hope in finding an alternative contributor to the team’s success at the tournament.

Ghana has commenced its training camp in Kumasi and is scheduled to face Namibia at the Baba Yara Stadium on January 8 before departing for Ivory Coast in two days.

Placed in Group B, the Black Stars will encounter Cape Verde, Egypt, and Mozambique during the competition.

The AFCON journey for Ghana begins with a match against Cape Verde at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 14, 2024, followed by clashes with Egypt and Mozambique at the same venue on January 18 and January 22, 2024, respectively.

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