2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Thomas Partey to lead Black Stars against Mali and CAR

Arsenal’s midfield maestro, Thomas Partey, has been handed the captaincy of the Black Stars for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The former Atletico Madrid star is back in the fold after a series of injury setbacks that saw him miss several games, including the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Ivory Coast, where Ghana failed to progress beyond the group stage.

With the current captain, Andre Ayew, left out of Otto Addo’s 26-man squad for the crucial assignment, Partey, who is the deputy captain, will lead the team. Ghana is keen to return to winning ways after a mixed start in Group I of the World Cup qualifiers, with one win and one loss in their first two matches. The Black Stars began their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Madagascar in Kumasi but then suffered a 1-0 defeat to Comoros in Moroni.

The qualifier against Mali is set to take place today, June 6, 2024, at Stade 26 Mars in Bamako, kicking off at 19:00. Following that, Ghana will face the Central African Republic at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Monday, June 10, 2024.

Currently occupying 4th place in Group I, the Black Stars are hopeful of securing victories in both games to enhance their chances of qualifying for the World Cup, which will be hosted in the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

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