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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Ghana names Olympic squad
By Michael oti Adjei
BBC Sport, Accra

Stephen Appiah of Juventus
Appiah is one of two players in the squad over the age of 23

Ghana coach Mariano Barreto has named Juventus midfielder Stephen Appiah in his 26-man squad for the Athens Olympics football tournament.

Appiah, who is also captain of the senior national team the Black Stars, is one of two players above the age of 23 in Barreto's squad.

The other is William Tiero of Ghanaian league champions Asante Kotoko.

The Olympic men's football tournament is reserved for players under the age of 23, but Fifa allows every country to use a maximum of three over-age players for the competition.

Also named in the touring party is Olympique Lyon midfielder Michael Essien.

The squad is dominated by members of the Black Stars, with fifteen of those in the squad having played for the national team in at least one of the last three 2006 World Cup qualifiers.

The team will gather in Portugal on Monday 13 July for a training camp after which Barreto will prune the squad down to 20.

Ghana, which is one of Africa's four representatives at the Athens Olympics, have been drawn in group B alongside Italy, Japan and Paraguay.

Ghanaian officials say there are planned friendlies against Serbia and Montenegro as well as English side Millwall in London before the Olympics but the dates for those games have yet to be confirmed.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: George Owu, Mohammed Alhassan (all Asante Kotoko), Isaac Amoako (Ashanti Gold)

Defenders: John Mensah (Chievo, Italy), Emmanuel Pappoe (Moadon Sport Ashdod, Israel), John Paintsil (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Patrick Villars (SK Bucheon, South Korea), Saliu Muntari (Sekondi Hasaacas), Dan Coleman (Hearts of Oak)

Midfielders: Michael Essien (Olympique Lyon, France), Sule Muntari (Udinese, Italy), Abubakar Yahuza (King Faisal Babes), Yusif Chibsah, William Tiero, Charles Taylor (all Asante Kotoko), Stephen Appiah (Juventus, Italy), Razak Ibrahim (Empoli, Italy), Lamine Nasir (Ashanti Gold), Anthony Obodai (Ajax, Holland) and Derrick Boateng (AIK Stockholm, Sweden)

Strikers: Isaac Boakye (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Ishmael Addo (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel), Razak Pimpong (Midtjyland, Denmark), Kwadwo Poku (Midtjyland, Denmark), Asamoah Gyan (Udinese, Italy), Shaibu Yakubu (Ashanti Gold).

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