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23.06.2006 General News

Kofi Annan is not "neutral" this time around

By Geneva (ANTARA News) -
Annan tackles a different kind of global debateAnnan tackles a different kind of global debate
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UN Secretary General Kofi Annan let his neutrality slide a little on Thursday, saying he was right behind his home side for Ghana's crunch World Cup encounter against the United States.

"I'm proud of my boys," said Annan, who hails from the West African

"They've played very well and I expect them to play equally well today."

Ghana, who stunned the second-ranked Czech Republic 2-0 after losing to Italy, will reach the round of 16 with a victory their Group E match in Nuremberg later Thursday.
"If they play as well as they did against the Czech side, I think there is hope for them," Annan told reporters on the sidelines of a UN meeting.

The match between the Black Stars and the US has the look of a title fight.

The US team comes off a 1-1 draw with Italy and must win for any hope to
advance.

Slipping back into balanced UN-speak, Annan also had kind words for the US team: "Of course I live in America, and I expect their team to play well.

"But I think the odds favour the Ghana side -- and they're not my odds," AFP reported Annan as saying.

However, Annan said, there is one sore point.

"Unfortunately I'll be trapped in a plane as the match goes on. I'll be on my way to New York."

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