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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 July 2007, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
'Dede' could play for France
By Ibrahim Sannie
BBC Sport

Andre 'Dede' Ayew
Andre 'Dede' Ayew has been courted by the French U21 side
Andre 'Dede' Ayew, son of Ghana legend Abedi 'Pele', has warned that he will play for France if he is not invited to play for Ghana.

The 17-year-old, who signed a professional contract with Ligue 1 giants Marseille in May, has recently turned down several offers to play for France's under-21 side.

Dede now says he will opt for France if Ghana's football authorities continue to ignore him.

"At this moment there is only one choice to make because I have only received an invitation from one country and that is France," Dede told BBC Sport.

'Ghana invite'

"I can't beg the authorities in Ghana to invite me to the national team because they know what I am capable of doing for my country.

"This issue has become more pressing because the first-team players of Marseille are mostly of international quality and one must establish himself as an international player too.

Andre 'Dede' Ayew
I have only received an invitation from one country and that is France
Andre 'Dede' Ayew

"I am having incessant pressure from the French authorities and I know I will receive another invitation next month.

"It has to be understood that I can't keep on turning them down - I need to make a decision soon."


The teenage prodigy is keen to emulate his father, who also won the African Footballer of the Year award three times in the 1990s as the captain of the Black Stars.

"Obviously my first choice is to play for my country, for the people of Ghana and to represent Africa in the right way in the eyes of the world.

"Every father wants his son to follow in his footsteps and if God permits I want to better what my father did for our country and Africa.

"But if the country that my father did everything for doesn't give me the opportunity, I have to respect the French coaches who have shown confidence in me."

The player currently holds both a French and Ghanaian passport.

'Bright Start'

Marseille coach Albert Emon has praised Dede's performance after the teenager played in all three pre-season matches for the Uefa Champions League campaigners.

But the 17-year-old is aware that he faces an uphill task to win a first-team shirt at the club where his father won the Champions League in 1993 and also won the league title in 1989, 1991 and 1992.

"I was very happy when I was told by journalists that the coach praised me during press conference," Dede said.

"I am also aware that we have a large squad of highly experienced players so I am patient and I will wait for my chance.

"We have got a very long season of my competitions and I am sure that when I get the opportunity to be the starting line-up I will grab it with both hands.

"I am very confident of my ability and I have the ambition to succeed here in Marseille and that ambition will surely help me achieve that dream at the club where my dad made his name."

Dede nets professional contract
28 May 07 |  African


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