Ghana will now take part in the qualifying campaign of the new African Nations Championship following an amendment made to the fixtures by the Confederation of African Football.
CAF, at its Executive Committee meeting on Saturday decided to hand Ghana and nine other African nations places in the qualifying series of the new tournament designed for players who play in the various domestic leagues of Africa.
“The CAF Executive Committee registered the request for participation past-deadline of Ten national associations wishing to take part at the competition, after the establishment of the fixtures of the Competitions on February 24th 2008.
“Faced with this eagerness and seeing that this is a new competition, CAF Executive Committee decided, exceptionally, to accept these 10 engagements and authorized CAF Secretariat to amend the fixtures accordingly,” a CAF statement said.
FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi has extolled the merits of the new championships and says it will boost the country's domestic game.
“It's good for the competition. More quality teams would improve the competition. Caf has behaved prudently and we must thank them for responding to the concerns of its members,” Kwesi Nyantakyi told www.ghanafa.org after the decision was made.
Following CAF's decision, Ghana would enter the qualifiers in Zone West B. The original qualifiers for Zone West B which includes Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger and Benin starts in May.
The nine other national associations to be readmitted into the qualifiers for the CHAN are: Gambia from Zone West A, Togo from Zone West B, Kenya and Eritrea from the Central East Zone, and from the Southern Zone: Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Ghana's absence from the draw of entries for the tournament, released by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), caused unease, particularly amongst local clubs, who say not taking part in the 2009 championships in Ivory Coast will deny their players vital exposure on the international scene.
However, the Ghana Football Association sought an explanation from the CAF on the omission of Ghana for the inaugural Africa Nations Championships.
The Africa Nations Championships is a new tournament designed by CAF for only home-based players of its member countries and it will come off in Ivory Coast from the 22nd of February till the 8th of March 2009.