2023 U-23 AFCON: Ibrahim Tanko to drop six players from twenty nine-man provisional squad

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Head Coach of the Black Meteors, Ibrahim Tanko will settle on 23 players for the TotalEnergies U23 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be played in Morocco starting this weekend.

Ibrahim Tanko a fortnight ago handed call-up to 29 players for a training tour in Cairo, Egypt which commenced on Monday, June 12 and ended on Wednesday, June 21.

25 players from the 29 invited players honored the call-up. The missing players were Los Angeles youngster Kwadwo Opoku, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer and Ernest Nuamah.

At the present time, no reason has been revealed for Kwadwo Opoku’s absence. Kamaldeen, Ransford Yeboah and Ernest Nuamah were excused for the camping due to their involvement with the Black Stars for 2023 AFCON qualifier against Madagascar in Antananarivo which was played on Sunday and ended 0-0.

The trio were expected to team up with the rest of the Black Meteors team in Morocco for the AFCON. However, reports stipulates that Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer and Kamaldeen Sulemana will not join the team, while Ernest Nuamah is expected to team up with the rest of the team in Morocco on Wednesday, June 21.

In the coming hours, Ibrahim Tanko will announce his final squad of 23 players, dropping 6 players from the 29-man provisional squad. Tanko is hoping that his selected team will meet expectations.

“We are allowed to register 26 players and we are allowed to take 23 players to the tournament, so we give everyone the chance to show himself and at the end of the day we have to select the best for nation. We hope the one we select will give us what we want,” he told GFA’s media team.

Meanwhile, the Black Meteors landed in Morocco earlier today for the U-23 AFCON, where they’ll face Congo, Morocco and Guinea in the group stages.

Ghana will kickoff their campaign against Congo on Saturday, June 24, before playing Morocco on Tuesday, June 27 and then Guinea on Friday, June 30.

Two best teams from Group A and B will advance to the semifinals stage of the competition. 

Winner of the tournament and the two runner ups will qualify to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games Men’s Soccer competition in Paris next year, while the 4th-placed team will play against a team from Asia in a playoffs to decide the final slot at the Olympics.

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