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27.04.2006 General News

Harper snubs Ghana

By myjoyonline

England-based midfielder, James Harper, has reportedly turned down a last-chance opportunity to be part of Ghana's historic World Cup appearance in Germany.

The Reading player, who has a Ghanaian mother, rejected a previous opportunity to play for the Black Stars a couple of seasons ago.

But the Ghana Football Association made a recent attempt to persuade Harper into making a U-turn and linking up with Chelsea's Micheal Essien in midfield at the World Cup Finals.

Harper has been named among the forty players being appraised by coach Ratomir Dujkovic for places in his final squad.

However the 25-year-old told the Evening Post: “Ghana came back to me the other week and I had a little think about it. All the lads said I had to do it because it would mean playing in the World Cup, but I can't. I'm English.

“My mum is from Ghana, but she moved over here when she was three.

Harper further states that he's never even been to Ghana and cannot speak any of the 32 Ghanaian languages.

“I don't know the colour of their flag and it's not my country. I wouldn't feel right putting on the shirt.”

“I know a lot of players do it and play for other countries, but I don't agree with that. I think you should play for the country where you are from.

"If I was born there and then came over to England, then fair enough. But I didn't and I am English.”