CAIRO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Ghana ended any doubts over whether Chelsea's Michael Essien would play at the African Nations Cup by leaving the injured midfielder out of their squad on Friday.
Initially ruled out due to an ankle injury, Essien made an earlier than expected return to light training this week, prompting speculation he might yet play a part in Ghana's campaign at the finals.
But his name was absent from the 23-man list which Ghana belatedly provided for the finals being held in Egypt from Jan. 20 to Feb. 10.
The Ghana Football Association are to be fined for missing Tuesday's midnight deadline for the list, the Confederation of African Football said on Friday.
Ghana play Nigeria in their first Group D match in Port Said on Jan. 23.
Goalkeepers: Sammy Adjei (Mohadon Sports Ashdod, Israel), George Owu (AshantiGold), Philemon McCarthy (Feyenoord Academy)
Defenders: Yakubu Abubakari (Vitesse Arnhem), Issah Ahmed, Aziz Ansah (both Asante Kotoko), Francis Dickoh (FC Nordsjaelland, Denmark), Daniel Edusei (Egaleo, Greece), Samuel Osei Kuffour (Roma, Italy), Emmanuel Pappoe (Hapoel Kfar Sava, Israel), John Painstil (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), John Mensah (Cremonese, Italy) , Hans Sarpei (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany)
Midfielders: Stephen Appiah (Fenerbache, Turkey), Baba Adamu (Krylya Sovietov Samara, Russia), Godwin Attram (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Haminu Dramani (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro), Laryea Kingston (Krylya Sovietov Samara, Russia), Hamza Mohammed (Real Tamale United)
Forwards: Louis Agyemang (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Matthew Amoah (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Joetex Frimpong (Enyimba, Nigeria), Prince Tagoe (Hearts of Oak).