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Kwesi Appiah calls on Black Stars to show they care for Ghana

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Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has called on his Black Stars squad to prove that they care about playing for the nation when the West African giants face Kenya in Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The match comes at a testing time for Ghanaian football, with the country's domestic football activity essentially shutting down after a BBC documentary exposed high-level corruption and bribery among senior officials and referees.

Appiah is confident that the national side can offer a major boost for the nation's football, despite a swathe of high-profile absentees from his squad.

This game is happening at a complicated time for Ghanaian football, so we all understand that, in a way, we are not just playing for three points," he told KweséESPN.

"We want to position ourselves well for the Africa Cup of Nations next year, so we want to win in Nairobi, we want to play well.

"I want to see evidence from the players again that playing for Ghana is important to them."

Appiah is without the Ayew brothers (Jordan and Andre), Asamoah Gyan and Jonathan Mensah, who have all been overlooked, but Kwadwo Asamoah has returned and appears primed to make his first international appearance in four years.

"We are happy that he has kept his word and is back," Appiah said. "He has lifted the mood here, but he has to earn his place like everybody else, so it's the effort in training that will matter.

"The advantage for me as the one in charge of this team is that every player understands that places in this team cannot be taken for granted," he continued, "and that applies to Kwadwo too."

Ghana began their AFCON qualifying campaign with a 5-0 demolition of Ethiopia in June 2017, while Kenya were defeated 2-1 away in Sierra Leone.

"We have done well in our recent games away in Congo, Japan and Iceland," the coach concluded, "and I hope we will do well against Kenya too.

"There has been good progress which is great for our long-term prospects."