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Andre Ayew dropped as Otto Addo names Black Stars squad for World Cup 2026 qualifiers

By Vincent Ashitey
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Black Stars captain Andre Dede Ayew has been left out of the squad to face Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR) in the World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

The Black Stars coach has selected 26 players for the double-header, which starts with a trip to Bamako against the Eagles on June 6.

The Black Stars will then return home to battle the Central African Republic in Kumasi on June 10.

Among the squad, there are debut call-ups for Cagliari midfielder Ibrahim Sulemana and West Bromwich forward Brandon Thomas-Asante.

Asante Kotoko goalkeeper Frederick Asare is the only home-based player named in the squad by the Ghana gaffer.

Otto Addo has kept faith with a number of his trusted troops and big name players ahead of the must-win game against Mali on June 6, 2024 in Bamako.

Fit-again Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey returns to the squad, alongside Mohammed Kudus (West Ham United), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Alexander Djiku (Fenerbahce Istanbul), Alidu Seidu (Stade Rennes), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton & Hove Albion), Salis Abdul Samed (RC Lens) and Mohammed Salisu (AS Monaco).

Striker Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth), wingers Kamaldeen Sulemana (FC Southampton), Issahaku Abdul Fatawu (Leicester City), Ernest Nuamah (Olympique Lyon) and Osman Bukari (RS Belgrade) have been named in the 26-man squad

There are also places for Ebenezer Annan (FK Novi Pazar), Ibrahim Osman (FC Nordsjaelland), Jerome Opoku (Istanbul Basaksehir), Abdul Mumin (Rayo Vallecano), Abu Francis (Cercle Brugge) and Brandon Thomas-Asante (West Bromwich) in the squad.

Seven players have been confirmed injured and will miss the double-header next month. They are Baba Iddrisu, Majeed Ashimeru, Inaki Williams, Joseph Paintsil, Nathaniel Adjei, Dennis Odoi and Daniel Amartey.

Kofi Kyere and Joseph Aidoo are also confirmed long-term injuries.

Otto Addo's 26-man squad will report for duty on Thursday morning as they begin to prepare for the qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in USA, Mexico and Canada.

The Black Stars will train at the University of Ghana Stadium for six-days before departing for Bamako on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St Gallen), Jojo Wollacot (Hibernian FC), Frederick Asare (Asante Kotoko)

Defenders: Gideon Mensah (AJ Auxerre),Ebenezer Annan (FK Novi Pazar), Mohammed Salisu (AS Monaco), Jerome Opoku (Istanbul Basaksehir), Abdul Mumin (Rayo Vallecano), Alexander Djiku (Fenerbahce Istanbul), Alidu Seidu (Stade Rennes), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton & Hove Albion).

Midfielders: Mohammed Kudus (West Ham United), Ernest Nuamah (Olympique Lyon), Salis Abdul Samed (RC Lens), Ibrahim Sulemana (Cagliari Calcio), Edmund Addo (FK Radnicki Nis), Thomas Partey (FC Arsenal), Elisha Owusu ( AJ Auxerre), Abu Francis (Cercle Brugge).

Forwards: Osman Bukari (RS Belgrade), Issahaku Abdul Fatawu (Leicester City, loan from  Sporting CP), Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Ibrahim Osman (FC Nordsjaelland), Kamaldeen Sulemana (FC Southampton), Brandon Thomas-Asante (West Bromwich).