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Soccer News of Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Source: GNA

GFA gives up on Balotelli

Accra, Feb 26, GNA - The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is considering giving-up the chase on Italian-born midfielder Mario Balotelli Barwuah.

Balotelli, who turns 18 in August, has turned down several invitations to feature for the senior national team, the Black Stars including the just ended Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the GFA on Tuesday announced the displeasure of the Association in the continuous chase of the Inter Milan striker, rated as one of the best young players in Europe and the world.

He said the player was keen on playing for the Azzuris, the Italian national team and had said so publicly despite several overtures made to him to change his stance.

"He has indicated he wants to play for Italy, and that makes it impossible for him to play for Ghana."

Nyantakyi reiterated his outfit's policy to cast its net wider towards encouraging players with Ghanaian roots, born outside Ghana or living abroad to play for any of the Ghanaian national teams. He lauded Quincy Owusu-Abeyie for justifying his inclusion in the team for the Nations Cup, describing him as a great success during the tournament.

"Coach Claude le Roy has mentioned Danny Welbeck of Manchester United, who played for England at the U-17 World Cup in Korea to us."

Abeyie, who had played for the Netherlands at the U-20 level was cleared by FIFA on the eve of the January 10 deadline for the submission of squad lists for the Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

Balotelli born to Ghanaian parents in Palermo, Italy was entrusted to the Balotelli family by the Court of Brescia at the age of three.