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Don’t beg Thomas Partey to come play Mali and CAR matches

Black Stars midfielder Thomas Partey Black Stars midfielder Thomas Partey

Ace sports journalist Collins Atta Poku has argued that Black Stars players do not need motivation to turn up for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Mali and Central African Republic.

Atta Poku says the importance of the two matches should serve as enough encouragement for the players to come forward and perform for Ghanaians.

He noted that the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States of America, Mexico and Canada, is of great importance to Ghanaians and that the Black Stars players should be motivated enough to win both matches for the Black Stars.

He responded to reports about Thomas Partey’s possible exclusion from matches, arguing forcefully that the Arsenal midfielder should not be begged to play for the Black Stars.

While questioning the veracity of those reports, Atta Poku said Partey would love to follow the same path as Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, who retired from the national team after participating in the World Cup.

He explained that Ghana needs wins against Mali and Central African Republic to be top of the table heading into qualification and that all fit players, including Thomas Partey, should be present in the squad.

“No one needs to talk to Teye Partey to play that game in Bamako. If you are a worthwhile player, these are some of the games you use to prove your worth. He is one of the leaders of the team, so why should do it? Please come and play this game?

“The World Cup is at stake and I’m sure he would love to play in his last World Cup. Stephen Appiah did it in 2010, and Essien and Muntari in 2014. They left the national team after the World Cup. What has this generation of players achieved? Nobody I should beg anyone to come play this game.

“In 2009, it was the then young Kwadwo Asamoah who won us the game against Mali in the World Cup qualifiers. His teammates, Jorginho and Declan Rice, will play in the European Championship. The Partey equivalent is the qualifiers for the World Cup. So he should come to play, I don’t think he will reject the calls,” he said.

Meanwhile, coach Otto Addo is expected to announce the squad for the two matches next week.

The Black Stars are scheduled to face Mali in Bamako on June 6, followed by a match against the Central African Republic at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on June 10.

E.K.

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