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15.05.2007 Sports News

Controversy Hit Ping Pong Squad

Controversy Hit Ping Pong Squad

Twelve table tennis players begin residential camping in Accra today, but the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) has been dragged into controversy over criteria for the selection exercise.

The team, made up of six men and six women, will be preparing for the All Africa Games to be held in Algiers, Algeria, from July 5-23. But Joseph Osei, formerly with the Ghana Police service, has challenged the selection system that left him out of the camping squad.

Osei was second only to Acquah Aikins at the last trials held by the GTTA at the Seven Great Princesses Academy at Dansoman in Accra on May 5, 2007, but was left out supposedly on account of a ranking system that started last year.

“We were told the competition would serve as the basis for qualification into the team, but I was shocked to hear I did not qualify because of some ranking system,” the player stated.

Players in the men's team invited to camp are Aikins, Derek Abrefa, Felix Lartey, Mohammed Ali, and Britain-based duo, Eric Hammond and Eric Amoah.

Osei claimed that in previous tournaments, he had been runner-up one more time, and had reached the quarter finals in another, while Aikins had also reached the quarter finals once, and questioned how he (Osei) did not make the list.

“If they had the team already, then there was no need for the tournament, since it did not make any impact,” he insisted.

“I demand justice for the sake of the game, since it could happen to any other player,” he said.

The women invited to camp are Akosua Ketu, Cecilia Baah Danso, Lynda Annor, Beatrice Pokua Gyasi, Bernice Borquaye and Francesca Amankrah.

Story by Michael Quaye