Fan favorite Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey has formally announced that he will be switching his allegiance from the English national team to Ghana ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
London-born Lamptey, now aged 21, has previously represented England at various youth levels and will now represent the Ghana ‘Black Stars’ team, following his request to be left out of the England under-21 squad.
Lamptey’s announcement comes after a similar announcement by Athletic Bilbao player Inaki Williams, as well as those of three German players — Stephen Ambrosius, Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer and Patric Pfeiffer — all of whom have declared that they will play for Ghana.
Commenting on these announcements, Ghana Football Association President Kurt Okraku, expressed a hope that the addition of five international players to the Ghana roster would increase the technical skill of the team as a whole.
This comes as part of a wider effort by the Ghana Football Association to connect with the Ghanaian diaspora across the world and to increase their access to top international talent.
Fans have been reacting positively both to this approach and these announcements, which is immediately clear if you check out the odds currently on offer at any sportsbook. If you want to see how these odds will play out for yourself, why not place a bet with Bet365?
Interestingly, this new approach marks a sharp contrast with the one that the Ghanaian Football Association previously took towards such diasporic signings. Instead of critiquing such an approach, it now seems that the Ghanaian team is actively pursuing it.
This new tactic started with the signing of Belgian-born Denis Odoi, who had previously played for the Belgian team at both youth and senior levels. Odoi had flirted with playing for Ghana for a number of years as a way of exploring his roots, however, it wasn’t until 2022 that he debuted with the Ghanaian team.
Switching national teams like Lamptey and Odoi has been made possible by a recent FIFA rule change which allows individuals to switch national teams provided they have played no more than three competitive matches at senior level before turning 21 years old.
Central to this effort has been the German-born Ghana coach — Otto Addo — who has helped to tempt Odoi, Lamptey and others into playing with the Black Stars team. Addo had previously played for Ghana internationally and has since guided the team to a qualification position for the 2022 World Cup.
But what do these player signings mean for the Ghanaian team at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar? Will players such as Lamptey and Williams make all the difference?
While Ghana have certainly been enjoying considerable success in recent years, it is by no means a guarantee of future victories. However, given that they are four-time winners of the African Cup of Nations and have made four appearances in the FIFA World Cup, there is already a degree of expectation.
Hopefully, these recent announcements will carry them further in the tournament than previous outings, with a quarter-final showing in 2010 being their best performance to date.
However, with Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay scheduled to face the Black Stars in the group stages, this will not be an easy feat!
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