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Sports News
LeRoy’s Surprise For Brazil 3/19/2007
Currently ranked the 19th best nation in the world by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), the Black Stars of Ghana would receive a massive lift into the first ten if they can tame Brazil in their upcoming high profile international friendly in Stockholm. Such is the complexity of FIFA’s computerized ranking once Ghana out-muscled a nation as highly ranked and reputed as Brazil (currently ranked third after Argentina and Italy after half a decade at No.1) the list in the points build-up is extraordinary.

Ghana’s head coach Claude LeRoy makes no pretences about his desire to win the contest although he suggest “its only a friendly”.LeRoy told mediamen in Lome where he has been monitoring the Africa Under-17 Championship he would spring a surprise on Brazil. Le Roy has already included Ashantigold’s Alfred Arthur in his squad but does not state the specific nature of the “surprise”. Sources close to the Frenchman hint Paul Addo who has been having a wonderful time in Lome for the Starlets could be on his way to Stockholm to confront Brazil.

The other surprise could well be Owusu Benjamin who is on his way to Rennes. Source close to LeRoy has told the AfricaSports newspaper the door has been slammed in the face of Mohammed Salou and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie for their “apparent lack of interest in the national team”.Meanwhile a source at the FA has confirmed JoeTex Asamoah Frimpong as nursing an injury which is unlikely to completely heal before the game against Brazil.

Africa Sports

In a related development Appiah Ruled Out Of Friendlies Ghana will be without captain Stephen Appiah for their two friendly matches in Europe this week because of injury. The 26-year-old, who plays for the Turkish side Fenerbahce, has been ruled out of action for two weeks after suffering a thigh strain during Saturday''''s 4-0 thrashing of Bursaspor. Appiah''''s absence was confirmed on Monday after tests on his thigh and he will not play in the matches against Austria in Graz on 24 and Brazil three days later in Sweden. "It is a crushing blow for me to be out for two weeks as I wanted to join my colleagues to fight and continue our country''''s rise in football," Appiah told BBC Sport. "Even though I will not be available for both matches I am I will be at the Brazil game to support the team and give the medical report of my injury to the Ghana FA."

Meanwhile, Michael Essien has a ''''chance'''' of being fit for the two friendly matches, according to his English club Chelsea. Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho says Essien could return from injury to play in Monday''''s FA Cup replay against Tottenham. Essien collected a knee injury in the first tie between the two clubs and was not included in the side which rivals Sheffield United 3-0 on Saturday.

If he is cleared to play, he w ill be available for the matches against Austria and Brazil. Source: Ibrahim Sannie,BBC

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