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January 25, 2007 | Sports News

QUINCY OWUSU OPTS FOR GHANA

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QUINCY OWUSU OPTS FOR GHANA

Dutch youth international Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has pledged his future to Ghana.

The 20-year-old, whose parents hail from the West African country, met Ghana FA officials last month to discuss the switch of allegiance.

According to the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the Spartak Moscow star has agreed to play for the Black Stars and is part of coach Claude Le Roy's squad for next month's friendly against Nigeria.

Even though Fifa is yet to receive Owusu-Abeyie's request for a switch of nationality, the GFA is confident of a swift approval by the game's governing body.

"Quincy has agreed to play for his motherland," GFA spokesman Randy Abbey told BBC Sport on Wednesday.

"We are confident that his application for a switch of nationality will be approved before the game against Nigeria, and that's why we have named him in the squad."

Owusu-Abeyie had a superb showing for Holland at the Fifa World Youth

Championship in 2005.

But he failed to hold down a regular position at English side Arsenal and joined Russia's Spartak Moscow in last year.

Also expected to make his debut for the Black Stars is striker Ibrahim Salou of Belgian side Club Brugge.

The 26-year-old, who holds a Belgium passport, pledged his international future to his country of birth last year.

But he turned down a subsequent invitation to the national team, angry over how his call-up was handled.

Salou met Le Roy in Belgium two weeks ago and has agreed to play in the game in London.

Germany-based striker Isaac Boakye returns to the squad for the first time since missing the Nations Cup last year.

Meanwhile, Le Roy says he will not call Sammy Kuffuor until the experienced defender is able to command a first-team place.

The Italy-based player lost his place in the Black Stars' squad during the World Cup in June and has not been invited to his country's four matches since the tournament in Germany.

"I have so much respect for Kuffuor and I don't want to invite him and keep him on the bench," the Frenchman said.

"The defenders I have at the moment are playing so well that it will be difficult for Kuffuor to start ahead of them.

"I will keep him out of the team until I am satisfied that he will take a first-team place when I call him up."

Also missing in the squad is Borussia Dortmund striker Matthew Amoah, who has struggled since joining the German team last year.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Sammy Adjei (Mohadon Sports Ashdod, Israel), Richard Kingson (BB Ankaraspor, Turkey)

Defenders: Hans Adu Sarpei (VFL Wolfsburg, Germany), John Paintsil (West Ham, England), Francis Dickoh (FC Utrecht, Holland), Habib Mohammed (Molde FK, Norway), Shilla Illiasu (Saturn FC, Russia) and John Mensah (Rennes, France)

Midfielders: Stephen Appiah (Fenerbache, Turkey), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Laryea Kingson (Hearts, Scotland) Sulley Ali Muntari (Udinese, Italy), Haminu Draman (Genclerbirligi, Turkey), Eric Addo (PSV Eindhoven, Holland)

Forwards: Junior Agogo (Nottingham Forest, England), Joe Tex Frimpong (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia) Asamoah Gyan (Locomotiv Moscow, Russia) Ibrahim Salou (Club Brugge, Belgium) Quincy Owusu Abeyie (Spartak Moscow, Russia) and Isaac Boakye (VFL Wolfsburg, Germany)

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