Black Stars trio eyed for U-23 AFCON squad, boosting Olympic qualification hopes
The upcoming tournament in Morocco presents a promising opportunity for the Black Meteors, Ghana’s U-23 national team, as they aim to qualify for the men’s football tournament at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Their prospects receive a significant boost with the potential inclusion of talented players such as Mohammed Kudus, Joseph Paintsil, and Kamaldeen Sulemana in their squad.
The eligibility of these players to represent Ghana at the U-23 level has been confirmed by Henry Asante Twum, the communication director of the Ghana Football Association. In an interview with Kumasi-based Akoma FM, Twum expressed optimism about their potential inclusion and emphasized that the final decision rests with the coaches. Ibrahim Tanko, the coach of the Black Meteors, will need to communicate his plans and the players he intends to select from the senior national team, the Black Stars, for the U-23 tournament.
Twum further explained that discussions will be held with Chris Hughton, the coach of the Black Stars, to seek his approval for the inclusion of these players. He referred to previous instances where eligible players were permitted to compete for the U-23 team, highlighting that Mohammed Kudus, Kamaldeen, and Joseph Paintsil, among others, are all qualified players who can contribute to the U-23 squad in Morocco.
Ghana, a nation that has not qualified for the Olympic Games in men’s football since 2004, is eager to make a strong impression at the tournament and secure a coveted spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics. Drawn into a group alongside the host nation, Morocco, as well as Congo Brazzaville and Guinea, Ghana faces a challenging task. However, the potential inclusion of talented players like Kudus, Paintsil, and Sulemana provides a boost of confidence and raises hopes for success.
The U-23 Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled to kick off in June, and the top three teams from the tournament will secure qualification for the men’s football event at the 2024 Olympic Games. Ghana is determined to perform well, showcase their abilities, and secure their place among the elite teams in Paris, aiming to bring Olympic glory back to their football-loving nation.