Ghana will face Mali and Equatorial Guinea in friendly matches in Turkey in October.

Equatorial Guinea has pulled out of the planned international friendly match with Ghana next month, the latter’s Football Association (GFA) has confirmed.

The development interestingly comes just a day after the GFA announced the fixture scheduled to take place in Turkey on October 12

The Black Stars’ clash with the National Thunder was one of two preparatory ties for the West Africans ahead of their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Sudan in November as Ghana are billed to face Mali earlier on October 9.

“The International football game between the Black Stars of Ghana and Equatorial Guinea has been called off,” the GFA announced on its official website on Friday.

“Ghana was scheduled to play the Central Africans on Monday, October 12, in one of two friendlies lined up for the team in next month’s Fifa International window.

“The Equatorial Guinean Football Association informed the GFA of the latest decision late Thursday, citing new travel restrictions imposed in their country. Equatorial Guinea’s borders are closed, and flights are suspended due to new Covid-19 rules.

“The GFA has immediately set in motion an alternative plan to secure another match for the team as the Coaches prepare for the upcoming Afcon qualifier against Sudan in November.”

After 10 months of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic disruptions, the Black Stars are looking to test their readiness for competitive action with a pair of friendly games before the resumption of Afcon qualifying in November.

They were last in action in November 2019 when they beat South Africa 2-0 at home and Sao Tome and Principe 1-0 away in Afcon 2022 qualifiers to move top of Group C.

The October friendlies will also be the first set of assignments for new Ghana coach CK Akonnor, who replaced James Kwasi Appiah in January, but has had to endure a long wait to lead the team into action for the first time.

He named his maiden Black Stars squad ahead of a showdown with Sudan in March, but the double-header of home and away ties were forced to be moved to a new date due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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