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Ghana's Afcon qualifier remains in the balance

Ghana's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone continues to be in doubt after a meeting in Freetown failed to clear the major obstacle holding it back.

Sierra Leone are currently banned from international football after world football governing body FIFA said there had been government interference in the running of the game in the country.

Sierra Leone Football Association Head of Media Ibrahim Kamara told KweséESPN they have made a request to FIFA to lift the ban and allow the Leone Stars to feature in the game, but is doubtful if that will happen.

"A meeting was held yesterday but the outcome has still not made it clear whether we can honour the game," Kamara said.

"SLFA president Isha Johansen has written to FIFA to request that the ban is lifted, but the problem is we don't know what FIFA's response will be because we have not fulfilled the main condition for the ban, which is the reinstatement of Johanesen as president and the general secretary."

The uncertainty has badly affected the build-up to the Group F qualifier in Kumasi, but both camps say they are not letting it affect their preparations.

"Our plans remain intact for the game because we are not looking at the current happenings in Sierra Leone," Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said after Monday's training session. "We will keep on preparing unless we get a notification from CAF or FIFA, but until then we are on with preparations for the game."

Sierra Leone's preparations have been a lot more complicated, as Kamara pointed out: "The plans are there and the players have been training; nothing has stopped them. The only thing affected is the arrival of our foreign-based players.

"We have dispatched tickets for the players to move from their teams directly to Ghana if the response from FIFA is positive, but honestly we are not confident this will work."

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