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Soccer News of Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Source: Daily Guide Network

FA Looks Ahead

GHANA?s BLACK Stars have been eliminated from the on-going World Cup finals, in Germany, but the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is leaving no stone unturned as CAN 2008 draws near, reports Isaac Franklin.

The FA is looking forward to a successful African tourney, in Ghana, with the aim of clinching the prestigious trophy at stake.

?During our days at the World Cup finals, we learnt a lot from the tourney, as well as the organisers, and so we hope to impart the knowledge to the development of soccer in Ghana,? FA vice president, Lawyer Fred Pappoe told Guide Sports, in an exclusive interview.

He continued: ?We have a formidable programme at hand, and although we?ve bowed out of the 2006 World Cup finals, we are seeking to bolster the Black Stars, ahead of CAN 2006.?

Already, Nigeria?s Super Eagles are set to battle it out with the Stars, prior to the African qualifiers, for CAN 2006.

The vice president insists there would be no changes in the current senior national soccer team, but hinted, a few players might be unearthed to beef up the squad, should the need arise.

Looking back, Lawyer Pappoe noted the Stars could have done better at the World Cup finals, if officiating was fair during their fixtures.

He also bemoaned false information being planted at websites, claiming it was time skeptics stopped peddling lies, behind the scenes.

He cited an example of an interview at fifaworldcup.yahoo.com which indicated that defender Emmanuel Addoquaye-Pappoe had indicated he was frightened by the huge crowd who attended the Stars? battle against the Azzurri of Italy, in Hanover, Germany.

The vice president said the defender never granted any interview to any newsman, after the noted match.

Lawyer Pappoe also pointed out the recent media reports about the head coach of the Stars, Ratomir Dujkovic, in which the coach was said to have quit the coaching job.

He observed that, ?Coach Dujkovic is still under contract with the FA, until the end of 2006, and we would have talks after the contract.? ?If he decides to turn his back on us, at the end of the contract, we would look elsewhere. However, should he resolve to renew his contract, we will sit for a new contractual agreement,? the FA vice president divulged.

Coach Dujkovic, himself, has confirmed his interest in becoming the next manager of the national team of his country of birth, Serbia & Montenegro. Dujkovic is in the frame to take over the Serbian national side, following the resignation of Ilija Petkovic.

"I am one of the candidates, after Mr Petkovic resigned, and I would be proud to manage my country.

"But I am not free at the moment, so we will have to see what happens." Dujkovic is not certain about whether he will sign a new deal to continue with the Black Stars job after guiding Ghana to the second round in their maiden World Cup appearance.

"I don't know at the moment, whether I'll stay, or not," Dujkovic told BBC Sport.

"Maybe I will continue and maybe I won't.

"I have a contract with Ghana until the end of year, so I will have to discuss things with the GFA chairman and see what the future will look like," he said. Dujkovic before the World Cup was criticized by the local media for his World Cup squad selection.

He also came under attack for an interview granted a German tabloid, which he was reported to have claimed that African players lacked discipline and now says he might not continue with the Ghana job.

"Some journalists have been against me from the first day that I have arrived in Ghana because they were against a foreign coach.

"I have to say that this has been very, very difficult for me. "But my results have spoken for themselves, as to my capabilities as a coach."

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