Essien expects world-class line up

12 years ago

Michael Essien expects a star-studded line up when Ghana plays host to the off-season charity game to raise awareness of the need for peace in Africa.

The Ghana midfielder is organising the Peace Game between African and Rest of the World XIs on May 25 at the Ohene Djan Stadium in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

An array of world stars are expected to play a part in the game with Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda featuring for the World XI while the Africa team is set to include Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o of Internazionale, and Manchester City's Touré brothers, Kolo and Yaya.

Essien says he's still hoping to get Chelsea captain John Terry to play in the Peace Game as he continues to talk to other players.

"If you look at Africa, the biggest names are Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and the Touré brothers," Essien said.

"They have all confirmed. I am still talking to a few more. Ashley Cole is coming down and Malouda will come down as well. So the people should expect some world-class players in Ghana. They will see ex-players and current players, they are all coming down."

Essien, who is an African Union peace ambassador, said he has "spoken to Paolo Maldini and many other great players". George Weah, the former world player of the year, now 44, is expected to feature.

"We just want to raise awareness about peace in Africa and, hopefully, we can generate funds for African Union projects," Essien said.

"Football is a very big thing in Africa, people love football, so it's always good to deliver the message through football. Hopefully, this game will help to bring peace in Africa because if you look at what has happened in Ivory Coast and Libya, it's not good. It's time for Africa to stand up and make peace with each other, stop the fighting, put the guns down and love each other."