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Project Nketiah and Lamptey: Bediako on why dual nationals fear to play for Black Stars

The ex-Asante Kotoko man shares his thoughts on the Black Stars’ recent quest to woo players from the diaspora 

Former Ghana and Mainz 05 midfielder Nana Darteh Bediako is the latest to attribute the nation’s struggle in securing the international future of players in the diaspora to bad press.

The West Africans have set their sights on following in the footsteps of the likes of Nigeria, Morocco and Algeria to broaden their talent pool with players born abroad.

Ghana’s quest has, however, not gone as successfully as they had hoped, having been turned down by a series of players, the most recent including Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams, Greuther Furth winger Jamie Leweling and Jeremy Doku of Rennes.

“They [players of Ghanaian descent abroad] are afraid of playing for the country because they think it will not end them well,” Bediako told Happy FM on Wednesday.

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“Some of the things they hear about playing for the Black Stars discourage them – the insults, harsh criticisms and many others.

“You cannot force them to make that decision on switching nationality. I would love to see my son play for the Black Stars. I am sure Abedi Pele is happy seeing his sons [Andre and Jordan Ayew] play for the Black Stars.”

Despite their low success rate over the years, Ghana are not giving up on their quest.

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Football officials of the West African country are currently locked down in talks with Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Brighton and Hove Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey in an attempt to woo players over from representing their country of birth England at senior level.

Anderlecht winger Francis Amuzu and Ajax Amsterdam starlet Brian Brobbey are also on the radar of the Black Stars.

“There are a lot of perceptions about how Ghanaian footballers play the game,” Black Stars management committee chairman George Amoakoh told Nhyira FM in September.

“Destructive tendencies in the game, those who deliberately want to injure you and cut short your career.

“Then the usual unending speculation, especially about Ghanaian players using ‘juju’ to play football.

“Even those [players in the diaspora] who were raised here and go to Europe to play there, most of them, because of ‘juju’, don’t want to play for Ghana.

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“It’s a very big problem we are trying to unravel and make right.”

Former Netherlands U21 centre-back Derrick Luckassen, and the France-born trio of Alexander Djiku, Enock Kwateng and Elisha Owusu have all recently pledged their allegiance to the four-time African champions. 

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