Inaki Williams pours cold water on prospect of playing international football for Ghana

The 28-year-old opens up about the West Africans’ approach and the reason behind his decision.

Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams has poured cold water on the prospect of playing international football for Ghana, stating it will not feel right to do so.

Born to Ghanaian parents in Spain, the 28-year-old has been a long-term target for the West Africans who have been keen to lure him away from Spain.

Ghana’s efforts over the years have so far been futile, with the forward turning down every approach from the Football Association.

“I’m grateful to where I grew and became who I am. Ghana tried to convince me, but I was born in Spain, in Bilbao. I won’t ever forget my family roots, but I feel Basque and can’t con anyone. I would be comfortable with Ghana, I’m sure, but I shouldn’t be there,” Williams told The Guardian.

“And my mum knows how people live football there: it’s quite something, and she’d be worried about me.

“My parents are from Accra and I really enjoy going. But I wasn’t born or raised there, my culture’s here, and there are players for whom it would mean more.

“I don’t think it would be right to take the place of someone who really deserves to go and who feels Ghana 100 percent.”

Inaki is one of two footballing brothers born to Ghanaian immigrants, the other being 19-year-old Nico Williams, who also plays for Athletic and made his professional debut this year.

The former has already made a senior international appearance for Spain in a friendly but remains eligible to switch to Ghana under Fifa eligibility rules.

“When my mum’s angry, she swears at us in Ghanaian [language] but we speak Spanish. When my parents came, it was English, but we lost that. I could have a conversation in English but it’s not fluent now,” Inaki added.

“When my grandparents call, I speak to them in Twi. I admire and love Ghana, the culture, food, tradition.”

Williams is among a host of dual nationals, including Netherlands trio Memphis Depay, Cody Gapko and Myron Boadu and Belgian winger Jeremy Doku, to have rejected approaches to play for Ghana in recent times.

Ghana Black Stars management member Fred Pappoe has partly blamed their struggles to lure such players on the influence of social media.

Nonetheless, the West Africans are currently in talks with Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, Brighton & Hove Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey, Netherlands-born youngster Brian Brobbey and Anderlecht winger Francis Amuzu.


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