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Sports News
Ghana set for Nigeria friendly 2/6/2007
Ghana are seeking a first win over Nigeria in fifteen years when the two sides meet in a friendly clash in London on Tuesday.

Not only are Ghana Nigeria''''s keenest rivals, but game at Griffin Park will be seen as a contest to determine pre-eminence in Africa.

Super Eagles have not lost to Black Stars since 1992, and are the highest ranked African team in the Fifa world rankings, but Ghana impressed at the World Cup - for which Nigeria did not qualify - and are unbeaten since their defeat to Brazil in the second round of that tournament.

"A game between Nigeria and Ghana is always contentious, competitive," Nigeria captain Kanu said.

"There is no cup at stake, but because of the rivalry between the two teams, we will take it seriously.

"Nigeria are number one in Africa by the Fifa ranking but some of my Ghanaian friends have been saying the ranking is no true reflection of form and that they are the best team in Africa. But don''''t forget that we beat them when we met in Egypt a year ago."

Characteristically, Nigeria''''s build-up has been shrouded in chaos, with Vogts''''s appointment only ratified by the Nigerian Football Association following an emergency meeting last week.

"Our little disagreement has also been resolved, there is always friction amongst a family and ours has been sorted amicably," NFA chairman Sani Lulu said.

"We''''ve resolved that Berti Vogts will sign his contract on February 5 in London and also use the opportunity to meet the players he will be working with.

"According to our schedule, he will be in Nigeria in the first week of March to start his job."

The divisions caused by Lulu''''s decision to bring in Vogts have not been entirely smoothed over, though.

Peter Singabele, one of the 14 members of the NFA board, accused Lulu of "consistently violating" the NFA''''s statutes, and insisted that Vogts''''s appointment "did not have everyone''''s blessing".

Austin Eguavoen, who has been in charge for the past two years, remains as assistant coach, and it was he who selected the 21-man squad for Tuesday''''s game.

That, surprisingly, included full-back Ifeanyi Udeze, who had not played for the national team since he accused NFA officials of neglect after picking up an injury in a game in November 2005.

Udeze himself admitted he was surprised by his call-up, given he has played only three league games this season, and parted company with his club, AEK Athens, last week.

Ghana, too, have had their off-field problems, with Kwesi Nyantakyi, the president of their Football Association, engaged in an on-going dispute with the Graphic Sports newspaper over the association''''s accountability since the World Cup.

Manager Claude Leroy again omitted former Bayern Munich defender Sammy Kuffour, but there were recalls for strikers Joetex Frimpong and Isaac Boakye.

Club Brugge forward Ibrahim Salou and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie of Spartak Moscow were called up for the first time, although there is doubt as to the latter''''s availability because he represented Holland at Under-20 level.

The match in London is one of the several matches involving African countries to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Other midweek friendlies:

Tuesday: Mali v Lithuania, Paris
Tuesday: Ivory Coast v Guinea, Rouen
Wednesday: Caf 50th anniversary international match (Egypt v Sweden, Cairo)
Wednesday: Senegal v Benin, Rouen, France
Wednesday: Mozambique v Swaziland, Maputo
Wednesday: Morocco v Tunisia, Rabat
Wednesday: Lesotho v Zimbabwe, Maseru
Wednesday: Algeria v Libya, Algiers
Wednesday: Botswana v Namibia, Gaborone
Wednesday: Angola v Vitoria Setubal, Lisbon
Wednesday: Togo v Cameroon, Lome


 
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