Le Roy insists on player release

14 years ago

Ghana coach Claude Le Roy has insisted that all his Europe-based players will be expected to join his African Cup of Nations squad on time.

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who could lose five key players during the Nations Cup, has already said he wants to discuss a deal to hold unto his players until just before the tournament.

However Le Roy is adamant that all his players must report for training two weeks prior to the event, as stipulated in Fifa regulations.

"You cannot prepare for the Premier League two days before it starts, they prepare six weeks before," the Frenchman pointed out.

"The players have to be here (in Accra) fourteen days before the competition; that means that all my players must be in camp by 6 January 2008 and there is no compromise at all on that.

"They can offer billions of dollars but the only thing that is important is the Black Stars."

The Black Stars coach also says European clubs and African players must get used to the fact that the dates of the African Cup of Nations finals will not change.

European clubs and some of Africa's big name players have criticised the fact that the Nations Cup finals are played in the middle of the European season.

Black Stars' midfielder Michael Essien is the latest to ask for a rethink of the January to February scheduling of the event.

But Le Roy told BBC Sport it was about time everyone viewed the Nations Cup with the same sort of reverence that is reserved for the other continental competitions.

"We shouldn't be worrying about what happens in London or Paris, what is important is what happens in Cairo or in Accra or in Lagos," he said.

"If it's possible to find a good date that everybody would be happy with then we must consider that, but at the moment the priority now is the Cup of Nations and the clubs must understand that."

Credit: BBC