Abukari Damba, former Black Stars goalkeeper, has raised concerns about the intrinsic motivation of players under Chris Hughton’s coaching, following Ghana’s defeat to Comoros in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
While Ghana secured a hard-fought 1-0 win against Madagascar in their first qualifier, a lone goal from Myziane Maolida led to their defeat in the second Group I game at the Stade de Moroni.
Damba, in an interview, attributed the loss to some players not fully committing to the national team’s cause under Coach Chris Hughton. He emphasized the importance of players’ intrinsic motivation, questioning if they are self-motivated enough to represent the national team.
“I always talk about the intrinsic motivation of these players, are these players self-motivated enough to play for the national team, these are some of the questions that we always have to ask,” he told Citi Sports.
“Again, emphasis on intrinsic motivation, whether they are self-motivated enough to be called upon to play for the senior national team.
“How do players feel when invited to come and play for the national, all these questions need to be answered.
“How do they approach games?
“Whether they play their hearts out and then we juxtapose that with what they play at the various clubs, then we can tell”
Despite the current challenges, Damba believes there is an opportunity for redemption, urging both players and the technical team to improve.
“But that notwithstanding, I still think we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves [Black Stars], both players and the technical team.
“So far, it is not looking too good, but we can always improve it.
As the focus shifts to the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D’Ivoire, where Ghana is grouped with Egypt, Mozambique, and Cape Verde, Damba hopes for a better performance than the previous edition, where Ghana exited at the group stage under former coach Milovan Rajevac.