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Local Black Stars team

Domestic players are not minnows, they deserve better

By Annette S. Yeboah | 

THE GHANA Premier League (GPL) is about to end and the World Cup qualifiers on the continent will start and it seems the local players will not have any part to play in the qualifiers.

It will be business as usual and expect head coach of the Black Stars Avram Grant to call his usual European players for the assignment.

Local players have been used to fill-in gaps for regulars who failed to honour invitation to international matches or never at all play. This treatment must stop. They deserve better and equal dealing from the handlers and not ignored totally.

In an ideal world, Grant’s entire squad should be made up of both local and foreign players.

At least the coach should have about 40 percent of local players in the senior national male team while the 60 percent goes to the foreign-based players.

These will curb the rate at which local players join the bandwagon at any given opportunity with the mentality of using that to earn a call-up into the team.

There are local players knocking loudly on the door with their on-the-field performances in the lower divisions of Ghana football.

The chance he gave to the local players in the Rwanda match was very laudable but more needs to be done.

Times have changed, as there are no more minnow players as the game is now a level field play.

The foreign-based players may not always be good. At least some of the good foreign-based players are warming the bench while a good player at home is always playing well and better each week.

That mentality must stop with immediate effect.

The late Jones Attuquaye-fio in 2002 used virtually home-based players to hold star-studded Nigeria at the Accra Sports Stadium in a World Cup qualifier.

Every now and then, fans and the media complain about the lack of local players in the Black Stars. They have the right to be there and there are too many foreign-based players in the team.

As an outsider looking in, it seems to me that the problem is so ingrained in football culture that it will take years to solve.

It is no hidden fact that the GPL games are a long way behind the other big African leagues in terms of the numbers of A and B qualified coaches we produce.

The reality is harsh for the local players because our homegrown players are not seen as  trustworthy players in the national team, but only good for the junior national teams.

The national team call-ups need to open up.

There should be a paradigm shift in the selection of players into the national team as it used to be in the early 1990’s which comprised locals and foreign-based players.

The football authorities in the country must implement a quota system in the Black Stars to aid the promotion of local players into the team.

The influx of foreign-based players anytime there is national assignment has cost local players the needed opportunities to feature for the senior national team.

It will be in the interest of the players in the local league if the GFA and appointed coaches should give quota to the local boys whereby players who excel in the local league will be granted call-ups to the national team.

Most good players on the local scene whose football careers have been destroyed are suffering because of their inability to play in the senior national team, thereby, they end up in countries like Vietnam and even lesser and non-competitive leagues compared to the Ghana league.

The players adjudged as the best in the league by the Premier League Board should be drafted into the Black Stars to serve as a major motivation for players who play in the local league and raise the standard of the league.

Using local players to fill-in gaps for regulars who failed to honour invitations to international matches must stop. They are called-in and are never used. At least giving them 10 minutes of play is not a bad thing to do.

About Benjamin Sapaning

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