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Ghana coach Grant says Boateng, Muntari can return

December 4, 2014

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — New Ghana coach Avram Grant opened the door for Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari to return to the national team on Thursday after they were banned indefinitely for indiscipline at the World Cup.

The pair was excluded by former coach Kwesi Appiah following the problems at the World Cup, when both were thrown out of Ghana’s team camp.

Boateng was sent home for insulting Appiah at a training session and Muntari was thrown out for hitting a Ghana Football Association official.

When being presented as coach, Grant said the Europe-based stars were welcome back, “but they need to show that they want to come.”

“It’s open for every player that is willing to give everything for his country and to understand that with all the developments in football, money ... the main competition is for the national teams,” Grant said. “Any player that will be proud to wear the national jersey and give all his passion to the team ... the doors of the Black Stars is open to him.”

Former Chelsea coach Grant has agreed a contract with Ghana until after the 2017 African Cup of Nations, and takes over two months ahead of next year’s African Cup.

His reconciliatory comments could convince Schalke’s Boateng and AC Milan midfielder Muntari to make themselves available for the Cup of Nations campaign in Equatorial Guinea in January and February.

Ghana reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010 but hasn’t won the continental title in over 30 years, losing a final and three semifinals in the last four editions.

Appiah left in September after a World Cup in Brazil marred by a dispute over player payments and the incidents involving Boateng and Muntari. Ghana slumped to a first-round exit and didn’t win a game, but held eventual champion Germany to a 2-2 draw, the only game the Germans failed to win.

“I think there is a big potential here,” the 59-year-old Grant said. “You saw even at the World Cup, though the results weren’t good you could see the potential is here.”

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