Afful Suspended For World Cup Playoff First Leg

Defender Harrison Afful will be unavailable for the 2014 FIFA World Cup playoff first leg due to suspension. The 27-year old is suspended for the first leg of the final phase after accumulating two yellow cards. This is evident on Article 17.3 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code which states “If a player receives a caution in two separate matches of the same FIFA competition, he is automatically suspended from the next match in that competition.” Afful saw his second yellow card of the campaign during last Friday’s qualifier against Zambia at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. Information gathered by GNA Sports indicates that the Esperance defender was also booked in the reverse fixture in Ndola, which the Stars lost by a lone goal, their only defeat so far. The absence of the left-back for the crucial game is confirmed in Article 38.1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code which states “as a general rule, every match suspension (of players and other persons) is carried over from one round to the next in the same competition.” The unavailability of the defender will serve a big headache for head coach Kwasi Appiah and their ambitions to complete a hat-trick of appearances at the Mundial. The first leg has been fixed for 11-15 October, with Ghana set to know her opponent after the draw at the weekend in Egypt. He returns for the second leg of the playoff which has been fixed for 15-19 November. Afful and John Boye remain the only players to have lasted the entire duration of all the previous six matches of the Stars campaign.