2014 World Cup: Juventus setback helps Ghana coach Appiah's preparation plans
Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah is set to have his full squad available for a pre-World Cup training camp in Holland later this month following Juventus’ exit from the Europa League.
Key Black Stars midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah’s Italian club were beaten in the semi-final of their Europa League clash against Benfica 2-1 on aggregate following the goalless draw match in Turin last night.
This means there will be no Ghanaian player playing any further part in any European competition beyond the FIFA deadline of 18 May.
UEFA has secured FIFA’s permission to play the Champions League final on 24 May which means and with no Ghanaian in action in Europe’s top-flight club competition Appiah will have all his players available when his non-residential camping starts in Accra.
The Black Stars players travel to Holland for the training camp on May 25, and early Champions League elimination for the likes of Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, Andre Ayew and Isaac Vorsah (if he is fit) will be there.
Schalke’s earlier defeat in the UEFA Champions League means Kevin-Prince Boateng and Anthony Annan will also be available if they are invited by coach Kwesi Appiah.
Annan has missed much of his first season for Schalke because of a succession of ankle injuries, but has not yet given up hope of returning in time to convince Appiah he is fit for a place in his World Cup squad.
With the leagues in Europe set to end by 18 May, players like Emmanuel Agyemang Badu of Udinese, France-based quartet of Jonathan Mensah, John Boye, Majeed Waris and Jordan Ayew will also be available.
Albert Adomah, Jeffery Schlupp and Derek Boateng will all also be available for the Black Stars if they are called up by the coach for the training camp.