Members of the Black Stars are set to miss the final farewell of a late colleague, Christian Atsu, who is scheduled to be laid to rest on Friday, March 17.
The 25-man squad called up by head coach Chris Hughton ahead of their 2023 Afria Cup of Nations qualifiers against Angola on March 23 in Kumasi, are expected to start arriving in the country after the burial of Atsu.
The development means the likes of skipper Andre Ayew, Thomas Partey, Jordan Ayew, Daniel Amartey among others will miss an opportunity to pay their last respect to their late friend who was a victim of the massive earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria in January.
When asked whether the Black Stars would have any particular role to play at the funeral, Abdul Haye Yartey, owner of Cheetah FC and Atsu’s local manager, explained that the senior national team were not included in the funeral arrangements of the late footballer.
Yartey, who discovered Atsu’s talent and took him to Portugal to sign with FC Porto, said the preparation was being done by the office of the Chief of Staff, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the late footballer’s family.
“The preparation for the funeral has not factored in a role by the Black Stars as it stands despite the GFA playing a significant role in the arrangement,” Mr Yartey told the Graphic Sports.
“Preparations are at an advanced stage and I can tell you that the government is playing a major role with the family to ensure Atsu gets a befitting burial.”
Meanwhile, the GFA says they did not factor in the Black Stars in Atsu’s funeral arrangement because the players are expected in town from March 19 after their club engagements.
The Communications Director of the GFA,Henry Asante Twum,told the Graphic Sports his outfit was working closely with Atsu’s family and the government to ensure they paid the best of tributes to the late footballer.
“We are in constant communication with the family of Atsu and the government in the preparation for the funeral to ensure we send him off in a befitting way.
“There has not been any inclusion of the Stars because they will be arriving in the country after the funeral on Friday,” Mr Twum explained.