Neil Armstrong Mortagbe, former Hearts of Oak Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has voiced his disappointment over Coach Chris Hughton’s decision to exclude Richmond Lamptey from the playing eleven during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Despite Lamptey’s impressive performances in the Ghana Premier League, the Asante Kotoko midfielder did not see any action in the AFCON tournament. Mortagbe, in an interview with Graphic Sports, expressed his dissatisfaction with the treatment of local players, specifically highlighting the omission of Richmond Lamptey.
Questioning the decision, Mortagbe emphasized that a player’s participation in the local league should not hinder their chances of representing the national team, especially when opportunities arise due to injuries.
“The fact that a player plays locally does not mean he cannot play for the Black Stars. We have all seen what Richmond Lamptey has done for Asante Kotoko, and I struggled to understand why he was never used, even when Majeed Ashimeru was injured. There were times when Richmond Lamptey was not even on the bench,” Mortagbe stated.
Ghana exited the tournament with two points, facing a defeat against Cape Verde and drawing with Egypt and Mozambique. Mortagbe’s criticism raises concerns about the fair inclusion of local talents in the national team.