Ghanaian football fans were left disappointed after it was announced that Ajax star Mohammed Kudus would not be eligible to play for the Black Meteors at the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Kudus, who was born on August 2, 2000, falls outside the Confederation of African Football’s January 1, 2001 or later cut-off point, meaning he cannot participate in the tournament.
Despite his ineligibility, there were still suggestions that Ibrahim Tanko, the head coach of the Black Meteors, should include the talented attacker in his squad for the U-23 AFCON, which will be hosted in Morocco in June.
However, Tanko ruled out this possibility, but revealed that he is open to adding other quality players to the team for the Olympic qualifying tournament.
“I think Kudus cannot play in U-23 AFCON but we are looking at inviting good and quality players to come and help us,” Tanko said after a recent game.
“If only it’s a FIFA date; I think it’s the end of the season so we will have more of them.”
Henry Asante Twum, the Communications Director of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), also expressed hope that Kudus could make the Black Meteors squad to boost their Olympic Games qualification chances. However, he confirmed that the talented player is ineligible for the U-23 AFCON.
Despite the disappointment of Kudus’ ineligibility, the Black Meteors managed to secure their AFCON qualification by beating Algeria 1-0 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. The victory saw them progress 2-1 on aggregate, giving Ghanaian football fans a reason to cheer.
The tournament will be held at the end of the season, and the Black Meteors will be hoping to field a strong squad that can qualify for the Olympic Games.