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22.10.2007 Sports News

Guinea Pull Out Of 4-Nation Tourney

Guinea have chickened out of the four-nation pre-Ghana 2008 tournament to be hosted by Ghana, forcing the Ghana Football Association to seek an immediate replacement with barely a month to go.

For now the GFA is torn between substituting the Guineans with either Cameroun or Sudan, both of whom have expressed interest in the tournament.

The Management Committee Chairman of the Black Stars, Mr Fred Pappoe, who broke the news to the Daily Graphic yesterday, said the FA was going to settle on one of the two countries in the coming days.

He, however, revealed that Guinea's decision, which is as a result of their being drawn in the same group with Ghana, came as no surprise to the GFA as Guinean officials had earlier declared their intention to withdraw from the tournament in case they found themselves in the same group with Ghana.

And as it turned out at last Friday's draw at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), Ghana were drawn in Group A alongside Guinea, newcomers Namibia, and north African giants and bogey side, Morocco.

The two West African countries coincidentally open the 26th edition of the Africa Nations Cup at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra on January 20, 2007.

“The Guineans are not comfortable and therefore want to opt out”, he noted.

Mr Pappoe, however, stressed that they were yet to communicate their decision in writing to the FA.

He stated that though the Guineans had already signed the contract to participate in the tournament, the FA had no intention of taking up the matter in view of the friendly spirit with which the competition was being organised.

The four-nation tourney slated for November 17-21 has Benin and the United Arab Emirates as the other participants.

The tournament is to serve a dual purpose of preparing the Black Stars for the Africa Cup of Nations, as well as testing facilities at the refurbished Accra and Kumasi stadia prior to the continent's most prestigious soccer extravaganza.

Story by Samuel Ebo Kwaitoo

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