Salis Abdul Samed responds to claims of turning down a chance to represent Ghana

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RC Lens midfielder, Salis Abdul Samed has responded to claims from the head coach of the Black Stars, Otto Addo that he turned down the chance of representing Ghana earlier this year.

Salis is currently rated as one of the best midfielders in the French League. In spite of his form, the youngster is yet to make an appearance for the Ghana national team and there are calls of his inclusion in the team for the upcoming World Cup.

Per quotes from Africa Football News, Otto Addo has indirectly stated that a call-up for Salis is impossible after he turned down the chance of being in Ghana’s standby list for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Madagascar and the Central Africa Republic in May.

“Salis Abdul Samed, he played at Clermont Foot with Alidu Seidu, I called the two in May, and we still have a list with players on stand-by to be prepared in the event that players are injured,” said Otto Addo as quoted by Africa Football News.

“Then we had a lot of injuries in June, so I invited Alidu Seidu but Abdul Samed didn’t want to be a reserve so he wasn’t on the list, I couldn’t invite him. So, he is the one who excludes himself from the list? Yes, that’s it.”

Responding to the claims, Salis confirmed to JoySports he had a conversation with Otto Addo around the time, but fears Addo may have misunderstood him.

“Someone sent me something, an interview of the coach [Otto Addo] talking about when he called me and I was at Clermont [and] I didn’t want to come.”

“It is not that I didn’t want to come. I’ve e been at Clermont for two good years without playing. I’m now playing and at that time, I had a knee problem — my knee was paining me a little bit.”

“Maybe the coach didn’t understand me well, that’s why he took offence. I wanted to go and treat my knee and wait for the second round of the season.”

When quizzed if he will honor a call-up for the World Cup, Salis gave a positive response and described it as a “dream come true”.

“I will go, if I don’t have any issues, like at the moment. Hundred times. I won’t even think twice about it. It is my dream to play for the national team,” he told JoySports.

“I want to play for Ghana. I want to make my mom proud. What will be more beautiful than when my mother switches on the television and I’m playing for Ghana? What will be more beautiful than my relatives watching me on TV play for Ghana? It is everyone’s dream to play at the World Cup. Some countries are angry because they’ve not qualified for the World Cup.”

“A big player like [Erling] Haaland is not going to the World Cup. If I’m going to the World Cup, why won’t I be happy? I’ll be very, very happy. It will even give my career a huge boost. If it is Ghana and not even the World Cup I’m invited for, I’ll honour the call-up if I’m okay and have no problem,” Salis added.

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