George Lomotey of the PR outfit of the soccer maestro has debunked wild speculations that Abedi Pele deliberately pulled out of the World XI Vs Africa XI charity game.
´┐ŻThe truth of the matter is Pele is currently in Europe pursuing an equally important official assignment, hence his absence in the charity game.
´┐ŻHe would have willingly honoured the game but for the trip, it was one game he kept talking about before leaving a few days ago. Indeed, we communicated to the organizers of the game two days before the match so they were aware,´┐Ż Lomotey added.
According to the Maestro´┐Żs spokesperson, there was no way the soccer legend could have ignored the game. ´┐ŻAbedi, like Essien is an AU envoy and has been in constant touch with the organizers of the game from the word go, so he was surprised about the allegations.
Abedi will travel from France to Switzerland today for the forthcoming FIFA Congress, and he is expected home shortly after the Congress. The football governing body will be meeting from May 31 to June 1 for the 61st edition of the Congress in Zurich.
Meanwhile, sheer ecstasy and nostalgia characterized the much-publicized six-goal thriller played at the Ohene Djan Stadium on Sunday. The game, which featured some of the world´┐Żs soccer greats; those retired and their active counterparts, saw the Ashley Cole-led World XI beat Michael Essien´┐Żs Africa XI 4-2.
The ´┐ŻBlacks´┐Ż opened the scoring through veteran Kalusha Bwalya when the game had barely developed. He headed home a John Paintsil perfect cross. The ´┐ŻWhites´┐Ż replied through Scot, while substitute Yaw ´┐ŻRush´┐Ż Preko increased the tally to two for the World XI side after the break.
Cote d´┐ŻIvoire captain Didier Drogba came from the bench to pull even for the Africans but scrappy defending by the African XI side allowed their opponents to score two additional goals through hard-working Florent Malouda and Ashley Cole in the dying minutes of the game.
On recess, Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan grabbed the microphone and thrilled the over 50,000 spectators with a beautiful piece of choreography with the popular ´┐ŻAfrican girls´┐Ż hit song.
Before the game, Essien, African Union´┐Żs special envoy and the brain behind the charity game, lit the perpetual flame to the admiration of the many that gathered.
Former stars like Algeria´┐Żs Raba Madjer, Kanu, Tony Yeboah, the ´┐ŻBull´┐Ż Amokachie, Kalu, Augustine Arhinful, Yakubu Ayigbeni, Felix Aboagye, Drogba, among others play under coaches Marcel Desailly (World) and George Weah (Africa).
The charity game, put together by Chelsea star Essien, was to create awareness about peace, especially on the continent.
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