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20.05.2004 Football News

Meteors Leave For Portugal

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A local set of players were yesterday expected to leave for Portugal in a last minute bid to save the Black Meteors' friendly encounter with the European country.

The players to make the trip last night, according to GFA sources, were drawn mostly from clubs in the premiership but outside the four top clubs engaged in continental campaigns currently.

The new arrangement was necessitated by national coach Mariano Barreto's insistence on the travel of the team for the already arranged game. The Portuguese, who left for his home country last week, expected the Meteors' arrival last Monday, but Hearts of Oak, Liberty Professionals and King Faisal failed to release their players for the trip, while Asante Kotoko, which together with the three other clubs, provide the bulk of players in the Ghanaian Olympic team, were yet to return from their continental assignment in Algiers over the weekend.

Troubled by the virtual 'unavailability' of players for the match, the GFA announced a cancellation of the Meteors' warm-up game ahead of their participation in the Athens Olympics. But Coach Barreto's insistence, plus the pressure apparently sustained by a disappointed Portuguese FA, forced the sudden U-turn by the Ghanaian footbal authority to honour the game.

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