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Soccer News of Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Source: GNA

Big blow to Ghana's Olympic team

Ghana's international player, Sulley Muntari has been expelled from the National Under-23 team, the Black Meteors on disciplinary grounds by head coach, Mariano Barreto.

The players' suspension came only a day to the teams' opening group game against Italy and his place has been taken by defender Patrick Villars, one of the four players put on stand-by by the coach.

In a statement signed by Mr Emmanuel Gyimah Deputy General Secretary of the (GFA),copied to the GNA Sports it said the coach however described the decision as a "painful one."

The statement said the GFA has also received a letter from the player indicating his decision not to honour future national calls.

The GFA has therefore described the player's action as regrettable and would work hard to persuade him to change his decision.

In another development, striker Isaac Boakye has also missed the final boat to the Games due to an injury that he sustained in one of the trial matches of the team in Portugal.

Consequently coach Barreto has replaced him with Razak Pimpong of Danish side FC Mitdjyland.

Though the latest development is a big blow to the team, the GFA has stated that it will not have any effect on the chances of the team. The GFA has therefore assured fans that the team is still focussed for the competition and will put up an impressive performance.

Muntari who plies his professional trade with Italian Serie A, Udinese has been a regular member of the senior national team, the Black Stars.

He is well remembered for his blistering shot which opened the scores for the historic three nil drubbing of South Africa in a World Cup qualifying game at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.

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