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AFCON 2017 pitch brouhaha: Grant wants injured players replaced

Friday 20th January , 2017 2:39 pm
Avram Grant (Image credit: Images Image)
Avram Grant (Image credit: Images Image)

Black Stars coach Avram Grant has thrown a challenge to the tournament organisers to change the rules of the 2017 AFCON and allow teams to replace players lost due to injury.

Grant’s case is based on the fact that players have been ruled out of the tournament due to injuries caused by the pitches used in the competition.

So far, five players including Jonathan Pitroipa of Burkina Faso, Mario Lemina of Gabon and Ghana’s Baba Rahman have left the tournament after suffering injuries caused by the pitches.

Burkina Faso's forward Jonathan Pitroipa (L) challenges Cameroon's midfielder Sebastien Siani during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match

Burkina Faso’s forward Jonathan Pitroipa (L) challenges Cameroon’s midfielder Sebastien Siani during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match

And that has left Grant very upset to the point that he wants all teams to be at full strength including his opponents Egypt who faces on January 25.

“I will be honest with everyone. The AFCON is a major competition like the Euros and the Copa America. The competition is for the supporters but the main actors, like we have in a movie, are the players. Of course, we all want to win for the countries we represent.

We need to give the players the best platforms for them to perform well. People are putting in a lot of efforts but a lot more must be done.

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Ghana’s Baba Rahman

So far, five players have received injuries due to the pitch and so, the tournament organisers need to relax the rules and allow teams to replaced the injured players.

I know Ghanaians will be unhappy with what I will say but Egypt have lost two goalkeepers because of the pitch. They need to have those players replaced. I think it is unfair to have them play without those two players. They need to bring in other goalkpeers. It is unfair and unsportsmanlike.”

Egyptian duo of Ahmed El Shenawy and Sherif Ekramy got injured in their opening match against Mali and they were replaced by Essam El Hadary.

Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy trudged off the field against Mali after only 25 minutes (Image credit: Justin Talls)

Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy trudged off the field against Mali after only 25 minutes (Image credit: Justin Talls)

However, some reports state that Ekramy could return if he gets full treatment but the Egyptian FA has decided not to push for a replacement out of respect for tournament rules.

The rules of the tournament say that no team can replace a player once it starts.

 

 

 

 

By: Nathan Quao/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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