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2023 AfconQ: Uncertainty looms over Abdul Samed’s availability for Ghana vs CAR

The upcoming decisive clash between Ghana and the Central African Republic (CAR) in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers hangs in the balance for midfielder Salis Abdul Samed.

With the Black Stars poised to host the encounter at the esteemed Baba Yara Sports Stadium on September 7, the 23-year-old’s participation has been thrust into uncertainty.

This doubt stems from a sprained ankle injury he incurred during a French Ligue 1 match, where his club, RC Lens, succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint Germain over the weekend.

Samed’s dependable presence on the field has been marked by a consistent string of full-match performances, making his inability to complete the entire 90 minutes in the recent fixture an exceptional occurrence. Samed had to be replaced at halftime.

RC Lens coach Franck Haise, reflecting on the situation, voiced uncertainties regarding Samed’s fitness for soon-to-come games even before the international break.

Haise stated during a post-match interview, “In his case, he [Salis Abdul Samed] does have a sprain.”

“I’m uncertain about the severity at this point, but I know it originated from the incident at the outset.”

The implications of Samed’s potential absence loom large, particularly in the context of his pivotal role within the Black Stars’ lineup.

His significance in the team, has been firmly established over the past year. His potential absence, not yet confirmed by coach Chris Hughton, adds an element of uncertainty given his influential role.

Throughout the Afcon qualifiers, Samed’s contributions have been unwavering, with his involvement extending to all three matches under Hughton’s guidance. Furthermore, his impact was palpable during the 2022 World Cup, where he participated in all three matches for the Black Stars.

With the final squad announcement on the horizon, Coach Hughton faces the task of evaluating Samed’s predicament. The imminent announcement of the definitive squad for the high-stakes game is anticipated to involve careful considerations of alternative options to potentially fill the void that Samed’s absence might create.

The Black Stars need at least a point against CAR to secure their place in the 2023 Afcon scheduled to take place in January next year.



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