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Soccer News Mon, 31 Jan 2005

Black Stars to play Ajax

The senior national football team, the Black Stars, would play the Dutch side, Ajax Amsterdam, on February 9 in Holland in an international friendly.

Ajax will play with a combination of first and reserve team, as many of their stars wll be playing international matches on the same day.

The match, coming on a day FIFA has set aside for matches of such nature, will afford the new Stars coach, Ratomir Dujkovic the opportunity to access the foreign based players.

Barely three months after his appointment his attention has been on locally based professionals. The game would therefore afford him the opportunity to have first hand knowledge of the foreign based players.
The clash replaces the earlier arranged match against Bundesliga side, Hamburg in Germany which did not materialize.
A source close to FA indicated that the match with the Bundesliga side could not come on as a result of the conflicting dates fixed for the match.
According to the source, while the FA maintained that the match be played on February 9, the Germans requested the match be played a day earlier.
Their reason was that their national team would play the national team of Argentina on the FIFA declared date for international friendly matches.
This, the FA found unacceptable and decided to play Ajax on February 9, a date on which coach Ratomir Dujkovic is expected to have a full compliment of the foreign based players.
Aside the opportunity to see his boys? performance, coach Dujkovic will also use the match as a platform to assess the Stars? readiness for their crucial world Cup qualifier against Congo DR on March 27.
A draw in that match will keep the Stars in contention for the sole ticket of qualification in the group which has South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Uganda.

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