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04.01.2008 Sports News

Owusu-Abeyie joins Black Stars camp

Dutch striker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie is the first player coming directly from Europe to join Ghana's training camp in Abu Dahbi.

The Spain-based player joined the team on Thursday for his first meeting with his Black Stars colleagues.

The 22-year-old was named in Ghana's squad for the training camp even though he has not been cleared by Fifa to play for the country of his parents.

Owusu-Abeyie has played for the Dutch under-21 side, and football's world governing body Fifa meets to decide his case just 5 days before the big kick-off in Accra.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his status with the Ghana national team, the former Arsenal striker is thrilled to have joined the Black Stars.

"I am very happy to be here with the Ghana national team and I hope Fifa can clear this matter for me to play my first game for the Black Stars," Owusu Abeyie told Ghanasoccernet.

"I hope I can impress the coaches here so that I can make the final squad for the tournament that I really want to play in."

If he makes the final cut, and Fifa decides against him, Ghana could be forced to pay a fine if they want to replace him.

Owusu- Abeyie joined the twelve players of the Black Stars who left Accra on Wednesday for the training camp.

Stand-in captain, John Mensah leads the team that includes Haminu Draman, Laryea Kingston, Matthew Amoah, Daniel Opare, Anthony Annan, Asamoah Gyan, Alhassan Illiasu, Baffour Gyan, John Mensah, Kwadwo Asamoah, Fatau Dauda and Ahmed Barrusso.

The number of player in camp rose to 14 after Kumasi Asante Kotoko's Harrison Afful joined the squad late on Thursday.

The squad trained on Friday morning and will continue in the evening as more players are expected laster on in the day.

Ghana will name its final team of 23 players for the African Cup of Nations in time for the tournament deadline of 10 January.

Ghana kicks off the competition on 20 January at the Ohene Djan Stadium with an opening Group A game against Guinea.

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