English-born Ghanaian defender Jerome Opoku has expressed delight in being recognized by the Ghana Football Association after he was handed an invitation for the double AFCON qualifiers against South Africa and São Tomé.
But the Plymouth Argyle defender could not make the trip to Ghana for the games due to the COVID-19 restriction.
Players leaving England to red zone countries like South Africa will be made to quarantine ten days after return, forcing the on-loan Fulham defender to decline the call-up.
Despite turning down the invite, Opoku reveals he and his family are proud of the recognition from Ghana.
“I am very proud. For me and my family it was a big thing, to be recognised by my country,” he told Plymouth Argyle’s official website.
“It’s a difficult thing, not being able to go, but I think it is for the best.
“I have spoken to a lot of people, family, and friends in football, and the whole Covid situation is challenging. For everyone’s safety, it’s the right option not to travel at this time.
“I think the call-up reflects my performances, and the progress I have made at Argyle.
“I am grateful to the club, the manager, and everyone around the team for helping me improve my game and gain national recognition.
“I would like to thank Ghana for presenting me with the opportunity, and hopefully there will be more to come.”
The lanky defender has made 32 appearances for Plymouth, 27 as a starter and five as a substitute, since arriving on loan from Fulham.
Ghana will play South Africa on March 25, 2021, before engaging São Tomé four days later in Accra.