Ghana includes uncapped Boateng in WCup squad

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Associated Press

Posted on May 7, 2010 at 11:04 AM

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana included uncapped midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng in its provisional 30-man World Cup squad on Friday, while Inter Milan's Sulley Muntari was recalled to the team.

Ghana's Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac also named injured pair Michael Essien of Chelsea and Sunderland's John Mensah in the squad.

However, Boateng will have to be given international clearance, because the Portsmouth midfielder has played for Germany's under-21 team.

Muntari was recalled after being overlooked for this year's African Cup of Nations, signaling that the Inter Milan midfielder has overcome his previous differences with Rajevac.

Captain Stephen Appiah was picked after a two-year battle with injury that also caused him to miss out on the African Cup of Nations.

Ghana-based goalkeepers Stephen Aholu and Stephen Adams were handed their first call-ups to the national team.

"I have confidence in all the players," Rajevac said on Ghana's Football Association website ahead of his team's arrival in France for a training camp starting on May 24.

"I would like the good people of Ghana to say goodbye to us, I mean a nice farewell as we leave for an important period in Paris," Rajevac said. "And from May 24, I hope we can have a good preparation with all the players."

Ghana has lined up pre-tournament friendlies against the Netherlands on June 1 and Latvia in Britain on June 5 before they head to South Africa.

Ghana is one of the favored African sides to shine at the continent's first World Cup after they reached the final of the African Cup of Nations earlier this year without some of their best players.

"One important thing is that we can start our preparations with high spirits," Rajevac said.

But injuries to key players are still proving troublesome.

Chelsea's Essien is the biggest worry. The midfielder has not played since hurting his knee at the African continental tournament back in January.

There are also doubts over defender Mensah, Udinese midfielder Agyemang Badu and Bologna's Appiah, who was sidelined for nearly two years with a persistent knee problem. He has not played club football since 2008.

Boateng earned his first call-up after he was granted a Ghanaian passport and Ghana's Football Association will seek final clearance from FIFA to ensure that he is eligible to play at the World Cup.

The Black Stars were the only African team to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany after they beat the United States and the Czech Republic in their group. Ghana was eventually knocked out in the last 16 stage by Brazil.

This time, Ghana are grouped with Germany, Rajevac's native Serbia and Australia.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingston (Wigan), Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professional), Stephen Aholu (Heart of Lions), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (FC Basel), Hans Adu Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen), Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea), John Mensah (Sunderland), Rahim Ayew (Zamalek), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim), John Paintsil (Fulham), Jonathan Mensah (Granada), Eric Addo (Roda JC).

Midfielders: Dede Ayew (Arles-Avignon), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Agyemang Badu (Udinese), Stephen Appiah (Bologna), Anthony Annan (Rosenborg), Haminu Draman (Lokomotiv Moscow), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan), Quincy Owusu Abeyie (Al Sadd), Derek Boateng (Getafe), Bernard Kumordzie (Panionios), Laryea Kingston (Hearts), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth).

Strikers: Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim), Asamoah Gyan (Rennes), Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan), Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda).

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