England braced to lose Callum Hudson-Odoi to Ghana

AHEAD OF THE GAME: England braced to lose Callum Hudson-Odoi to Ghana as Chelsea star grows disillusioned with the FA… while Sean Dyche’s new Burnley contract contains a release clause

  • Gareth Southgate is growing resigned to losing Callum Hudson-Odoi to Ghana
  • The Chelsea man has dual nationality and under FIFA rules is eligible to switch
  • Burnley are obliged to release Dyche if a club pay them his wages for a year 
  • The Government plan to hold peace talks with Premier League players

Gareth Southgate is growing resigned to Callum Hudson-Odoi switching international allegiance to Ghana after the Chelsea forward rejected an Under 21 call-up for the European Championship qualifiers against Romania and Kosovo earlier this month.

Hudson-Odoi has dual nationality and under FIFA rules is eligible to switch because he has not represented England at the finals of a major tournament, and all of his three competitive senior appearances came before the age of 21.

Hudson-Odoi would have to wait until November 2022 to represent Ghana — three years after his last appearance for England — but given that would enable him to play in the World Cup in Qatar, it remains an attractive option. 

Gareth Southgate (right) is growing resigned to Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) switching to Ghana

The 20-year-old has become disillusioned with the FA after being dropped to the Under 21s since he made history by becoming the youngest player to make a competitive appearance for England, in a European Championship qualifier against Czech Republic two years ago. The situation has been exacerbated by the rapid rise of other attacking players such as Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.

Hudson-Odoi has close ties to Ghana and travelled to Accra this summer when he met Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo, sports minister Mustapha Ussif and Ghana FA boss Kurt Okraku.

Sean Dyche could still leave Burnley if he receives an offer from another Premier League club, as the new four-year contract he signed earlier this week contains a release clause.

The exit terms are understood to be the same as those in his previous contract at Turf Moor, with Burnley obliged to release Dyche if another club pay them his wages for 12 months. Dyche has previously attracted interest from West Ham, Everton and Crystal Palace without any of them making a formal offer to him or Burnley, although that could change if he continues to keep the club in the Premier League on a modest budget.

Sean Dyche could leave Burnley if another Premier League club paid his wages for 12 months


The Premier League are considering three-match bans for supporters who attempt to attend games without the appropriate Covid certification, if it is made compulsory by the Government later in the season.

For the moment, clubs are continuing with a system of random spot-checks of fans’ Covid status at matches, as well as telling supporters who are not fully vaccinated or in possession of a negative test to stay away, but enforcement may become more draconian if Covid passports are made mandatory.

While the random checks would continue rather than inspections for every fan, anyone found seeking to enter stadiums without a Covid passport could be barred from subsequent games, as well as being denied entry.


The Government’s plan to hold peace talks with Premier League stars following ministerial criticism of their salaries and anti-racism campaigns, as revealed by Sportsmail yesterday, is partly motivated by a desire to use the players to endorse a 2030 World Cup bid.

The FA are conducting a feasibility study over the prospects of bidding for the tournament, with a final decision expected next summer. The Government have made it clear that they are willing to back and help finance the bid, but are aware they need to improve relations with leading players to ensure they are on side.

UK PM Boris Johnson (right) is plotting a four-nations-plus-Ireland bid for the 2030 World Cup


UEFA officials are hoping FIFA’s incessant publicity drive with regards to making the World Cup a biennial event is merely a bargaining tool to help force through another of their proposed additions to the calendar — a 24-team Club World Cup.


The expanded tournament was due to take place for the first time in China this summer, before being delayed by the pandemic. It remains high on FIFA’s agenda, although they have yet to confirm when the beefed-up competition featuring eight teams from Europe will begin, and how often it will take place.

UEFA view proposals for an expanded Club World Cup as a threat to the Champions League, but may be able to accept it as the price for FIFA dropping their other major plan to stage the World Cup every two years.

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