Black Stars head coach, Otto Addo says the willingness of the players to play for the national team when they are called up, was a key part of his criteria when picking the squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Addo named his 26-man squad for the tournament which included the notable omissions of goalkeepers, Joseph Wollacott and Richard Ofori, and midfielder, Iddrisu Baba because of injury.
Players like Joseph Paintsil and Jeffrey Schlupp, whose commitment to the national team has been questioned in recent times, were also excluded.
Paintsil has been called out for not joining the Black Stars for the Kirin Cup in June, while Schlupp has rejected some call-ups to the team in the past.
Otto Addo did not name any players but was insistent that being called up to the national team should be seen “as an honour.”
“We have strong values to build our team. We have criteria on the pitch but also off the pitch. One criterion off the pitch is the readiness and the willingness to come and play for the Black Stars whenever you’re called up,” he said after naming the 26-man squad.
“It should always be an honour. I know as a player it takes sacrifice sometimes because you’re in between the club and the national team and there are lots of things happening that are not always going the right way. You have to make sacrifices.”
Addo added that it was important for the players to see the national team as a family that is able to address all of its issues internally.
“We expect that [the players] are young and trustworthy. The team for me is not a family but it’s like a family. Everything that happens in the team should stay in the team. Sometimes we have discussions and quarrels because of hard tackles or whatever but it should never go out,” he said.
The Black Stars are currently camping in Abu Dhabi ahead of their first group game against Portugal on the 24th of November.
Otto Addo’s side will also take on South Korea and Uruguay.