Ashley Cole to play in Michael Essien's charity match

11 May 2011 08:12
ShareAshley Cole has promised to dash to Africa to play in an exhibition game organised by his Chelsea team-mate Michael Essien days before England meet for their final Euro 2012 qualifier of the season.

Essien has planned a 'Peace Match', an Africa XI against a World XI, to be played in Ghana's capital city, Accra, on May 25.

Cole has told Essien he will be play, which may alarm Fabio Capello, who has given his players a week off to recharge before meeting up for five days of training before a qualifier at home to Switzerland.

Your country needs you: Cole (right) is set to jeopardise his England place to feature in a charity tie

England are due to report to their Hertfordshire base in the evening of May 29, a day after Manchester United face Barcelona at Wembley.

With Wayne Rooney suspended against the Swiss, Capello will have only two of his squad, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick, involved in the Champions League final.

The Italian was keen for the others to take a break after learning a lesson from last year's World Cup finals about the dangers of working players hard in a training camp at the end of the gruelling English season.

National treasure: Essien (left) has organised a charity match in aid of his homeland

Essien, however, expects Cole to join him in Ghana for a match which he hopes will raise awareness for peace in Africa after the violence in the Ivory Coast and Libya.

'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.

'We have come up with this game. Hopefully the players will turn up and we can do something to bring peace.

'The biggest names are Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers. Ashley Cole is coming down and Florent Malouda. People should expect some world-class players in Ghana.'

African stars: Cameroon striker Eto'o (left) and former Liberian forward Weah are also set to feature

Ex-players including George Weah and Abedi Pele are also hoping to take part and Essien is trying to add more big names to the bill.

The Chelsea midfielder will then stay in Accra, where he hopes to play for Ghana against Congo in what will mark his return to international football after a self-imposed exile to aid his recovery from two serious knee injuries.

Essien missed the World Cup last year but said: 'I am available for selection against Congo in June. I want to help my country qualify for the next African Nations Cup. They have done more than well during my absence. It shows how good the squad is. The young ones have lived up to expectations. The Black Stars are not a one-man team.'

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 Explore more:People: Michael Essien, Fabio Capello, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Samuel Eto'o, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick Places: Barcelona, Libya, Cameroon, United Kingdom, Ghana, Switzerland, Congo, Africa

Source: Daily_Mail

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