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Soccer News of Thursday, 30 November 2006

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Spain "Steals" Godwin Antwi

Ghana-born Godwin Antwi, who was part of last season's Liverpool FA Youth Cup-winning squad, has been invited to play for the Spanish under-19 side.

The 18-year-old, who moved to Spain with his parents some four years ago, plays for the Liverpool reserves team in England.

The Spanish are intrigued. He is a teenager in a very mature body. He says he wants to be like Sammy Kuffour.

The promising central defender, lived in Kumasi till the age of 14, when he left with his parents in search of ?work and fortune?.

In Spain, he played street football for a while, because of his immigration status until Real Zaragoza took him under their fold, where he formed a strong bond with his trainers in the two years he spent there.

Two summers ago Liverpool invited him for trials.

"He had tremendous physical training condition, but nothing of quality", remembers Herrera Alpaca, ex- chief scout of the English club. Two months after the trials, he obtained a Spanish passport and was on the books of Real Zaragoza before Liverpool coach Benitez brought him to England in the summer of 2005.

Asked what he will do if he is called up by the National Team of Ghana? "My father and my representative will decide. I only want to be a soccer player", he said.

Ghanaians on the GhanaWeb Socer Forum are infuriated mainly with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for the ?loss?. These are some comments

  • ?He has said many times he wants to play for Ghana, but he hasn't been called, so Spain called him up because he lived there for just 3 years and he can't refuse?

  • ?If any of us were in his position as a promising young footballer, and the first country that calls you up to their national team is Spain, I doubt you would turn them down. I'm glad this has happened, hopefully it'll cause the GFA to wake up and act fast on our youth abroad? said a visitor

  • ?I nearly collapsed in my chair. I give up on profiling any Ghanaian kid in Europe. I think some of us should get GFA jobs and effect changes ourselves?.. it GFA's fault.

  • They know about them. And they don't care? said one

  • ?This is sad indeed. All European Nations are taking Ghanaian future talents away?

  • ? ... Our GFA simply ain't pro-active enough?
All is not yet lost, since he can play at junior level for Spain, but can still, before his 21st birthday, opt to play for Ghana.

FIFA regulations allow players with dual nationality to change their international allegiance before the age of 21 if they have not won a full international cap.

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