Accra, Mar 21, GNA - Former Black Stars defender, Anthony Baffoe has proposed the establishment of an early contact base with foreign based players of Ghanaian origin to enable the nation access their services in future. He said that most players born outside the country with half Ghanaian background could not play for the nation because of the lack of appreciation of their Ghanaian cultures.
Baffoe said the only way to get young and upcoming Ghanaians to play for the national teams in future is to find a way of connecting them to their origin through the organization of programmes aimed at bringing them home. Ghana has in recent times lost the services of some Ghanaian players who prefer instead to playing for their adopted countries. David Odonkor, Freddy Adu and Quincy Owusu Abeyie among others have all opted for Germany, United States of America (USA) and The Netherlands.
The defender said, "the future now belongs to the youth and to avoid occurrence of such switch, there is the need for early identification and crafty programmes that easily make them feel obliged to feature for Ghana. "I'm convinced that with this arrangement, the youth will grow to appreciate the Ghanaian culture and accept the nation as their true home and we would therefore have no difficulty in getting them to feature for the national teams". He identified the long barriers and distances between players who have lived in other counties all their lives as among the hindrance towards the nation's quest of seeking the consent of all Ghanaian players out there.
Baffoe who has a Ghanaian father, made his national debut in 1991, blossoming into stardom to become a key figure of the Black Stars in between 1992 and 94 where he was a prominent feature in the Senegal and Tunisia Cup of Nations. The defender who retired from international football in 1998, explaining the circumstances behind the failure of the nation to secure the services of German born Odonkor said the player could not be faulted because he had passed the 21 year' rule allowed by FIFA. "Apart from the fact that Odonkor is already 22 and disqualified for that special dispensation, he is almost an alien to the Ghanaian culture and naturally finds it difficult to opt for Ghana ahead of the people hehas known all his life".
Baffoe who is being considered for a special role by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) ahead of the Black Stars campaign in Germany, was very buoyant about the chances of the Stars when they make their maiden Mundial appearance. He revealed that plans are far advanced for the team to be in shape for the competition saying, "Ghana cannot afford to flop at the event, despite making her first appearance". The player who currently host some Television Talk Shows in Germany was optimistic the return of influential players like Michael Essien, Sulley Ali Muntari, Asamoah Gyan and others would work in favour of the fortunes of the Ghanaians in the World Cup event where they are housed alongside Italy, Czech Republic and USA