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13.05.2006 Football News

Ghana's World Cup Squad Named

Ghana's World Cup Squad Named

Accra, May 12 - Ratomir Djukovic, Ghana's Black Stars trainer on Thursday named three local-based players among 23 selected squad, four days ahead of FIFA's submission deadline.

The trio, Accra Hearts of Oak's Dan Quaye, King Faisal's Habib Mohammed and Kumasi Asante Kotoko's Shilla Illiasu are among the four local-based players named by the Serbian.

Officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) approved the list late Thursday night and are due to announce it on Friday at a Press briefing, scheduled for the Teachers Hall in Accra.

Djukovic's inclusion of the three contradicts the previous criticism that local-based players are often used as training horses as against their foreign counterparts.

Ashantigold's goalkeeper Owu is the fourth Ghana-based player in the squad, which begins its campaign against Italy in Hannover on June 12.

Apart from Owu, who remains a regular to the Stars team, the three have often tasted action only at international friendly matches, where their services had only come in handy in the absence of some of the foreign-based players.

The Coach, who made history last October by giving the Ghanaians a first Mundial appearance, would keep faith with goalkeeper Sammy Adjei, who remained the team's number one throughout the qualifiers.

The Coach maintained only 10 players of the team that played at the last Nations Cup in Egypt, where the Stars bowed out at the group stage. He would however, enjoy the luxury of parading the three influential players he missed to injury at the Egypt tourney- Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Ali Muntari and Michael Essien.

Derek Boateng and Razak Pimpong are among the few players that gained a last minute consideration into the squad.

Dujkovic kept faith with midfielder Haminu Dramani even though he has not played for his Serbian club Red Star Belgrade for more than six months.

The exclusion of strikers Isaac Boakye of the German side Arminia Bielefeld and Ibrahim Salou of the Belgian Cup finalist Zulte Waregem did not come as a surprise as both players are nursing injuries.

President Kuffuor will host the Black Stars on 16 May before they leave for their camping base in Austria, a day later.

Ghana plays Czech Republic and United States of America (USA) as well at the group stage.

All 32 participating countries are mandated by the World governing body to submit their squad by Monday, May 15.

The list is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Sammy Adjei, George Owu and Richard Kingston.

Defenders: John Painstil, Samuel Osei Kuffour, John Mensah, Addoquaye Pappoe, Sheila Illiasu, Dan Quaye, Issah Ahmed, Habib Mohammed and Hans Adu Sarpei.

Midfielders- Michael Essien, Sulley Ali Muntari, Derek Boateng, Stephen Appiah, Eric Addo, Otto Addo, Haminu Dramani

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan, Mathew Amoah, Razak Pimpong Alex Techie-Mensah