Ghana Black Stars players off to Emirates for training

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A team of 12 players accompanied by a dozen backroom and administrative staff left Accra Wednesday night aboard a Fly Emirates airliner to the Gulf for a pre-African Cup of Nations training camp.

They flew out of the Kotoka International Airport in the capital, Accra, at 18:30 GMT to the United Arab Emirates.

Deputy team captain, John Mensah led the travelling party which included, Haminu Draman, Laryea Kingston, Matthew Amoah, Daniel Opare, Anthony Annan, Asamoah Gyan, Alhassan Illiasu, Baffour Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Fatau Dauda and Ahmed Barrusso.

The 12 would be joined later by Harrison Afful, who travels from Accra after playing in a domestic league game Wednesday for local side Asante Kotoko.

The remaining members of the team would arrive at the Black Stars’ camp base in the United Arab Emirates from their various destinations in Europe.

Also to join them is Stephen Appiah, who will be forced to sit out the African Cup of Nations because of injury problems.

But sources say the Black Stars captain would be playing a different role as Claude Le Roy wants him act as an inspiration to the rest of his colleagues.

Claude Le Roy shortened his 40-man squad announced earlier in the week to 26, then to 28 with the inclusion of defenders Afful of Asante Kotoko and Hans Adu Sarpei of Bayer Leverkusen, for the final phase of their training camp.

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

The hosts kick off the competition 20 January at the Ohene Djan Stadium with an opening Group A game against Guinea.

Ghana’s preliminary squad:


Richard Kingson (Birmingham City, England), Sammy Adjei (Ashdod, Israel), Fatau Dauda (Ashantigold,


John Paintsil (West Ham, England), Dan Opare (Ashantigold, Ghana), Nana Kwasi Asare (FC Mechelon, Belgium), John Mensah (Rennes, France), Alhassan Illiasu (FC Saturn, Russia), Francis Dickoh (FC Utretcht, Holland) Hans Adu Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Harrison Afful (Asante Kotoko, Ghana)


Anthony Annan (I.K. Start, Norway), Eric Addo (PSV Eindhoven, Holland), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Bernard Kumodzi (Panionios FC, Greece), Laryea Kingston (Hearts, Scotland), Haminu Draman (Locomotiv Moscow, Russia), Moussa Narry (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Stephen Appiah (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Sulley Muntari (Portsmouth, England), Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille, France), Ahmed Barruso (AS Roma,


Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda, Holland), Asamoah Gyan (Udinese, Italy), Baffuor Gyan (FC Saturn, Russia), Junior Agogo (Nottingham Forest, England), Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Celta Vigo, Spain), Kwadwo Asamoah (Liberty Professionals, Ghana).

CAN 2008  Teams representing 47 countries are split into 12 groups of four. The best team from each group automatically qualifies to take part in the 26th edition of the African Cup of Nations football competition which takes place in Ghana.
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