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Wales lose Ramsey to injury
Published : 27 Feb 2012 16:47:01
Wales captain Aaron Ramsey will miss Wednesday's Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica due to an ankle injury.
The 21-year-old Arsenal midfielder was made skipper by late manager Speed last March, and led the Dragons to four wins from their last five games prior to Speed's death in November.
But Ramsey will be unable to play a part in the game, the first under new manager Chris Coleman, as he has failed to recover from the injury he picked up in the Gunners' FA Cup defeat against Sunderland, although he will be present at Cardiff City Stadium.
An FAW statement read: "Wales captain, Aaron Ramsey, will miss the match with Costa Rica. Aaron was injured in the match with Sunderland and will not be available for the Gary Speed Memorial International. He will however, be present at the match, to pay his respects to the former Wales manager on Wednesday evening."
The only other fitness doubt is goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who has an Achilles injury.
Ramsey is to continue as captain under Coleman, but his absence means veteran striker Craig Bellamy, who was particularly close to Speed, could be in line to lead his country on what is certain to be an emotionally-charged occasion.
The meeting with Costa Rica could be the Liverpool forward's last game for his country, after he admitted he is considering his international future, although Coleman is hopeful of convincing him to extend his 14-year Wales career through to the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Bellamy's ultimate decision on his Wales future could be influenced by Friday's resignation of coach Raymond Verheijen. The outspoken Dutchman, who was Speed's assistant, was a popular figure with Bellamy and other senior figures such as Ramsey and Gareth Bale.
Along with Osian Roberts, Verheijen was due to lead preparations to face Costa Rica with Coleman taking a background role, but those plans had to be ripped up after he chose to stand down, accusing the FAW of "political and destructive games".
In his absence Coleman, his recently-appointed assistant Kit Symons, and Roberts will take control of the side as Wales look to build on the foundations laid under Speed's stewardship.