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Ashley Cole: To take part in Ghanian charity match


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Ashley Cole to play in Africa 10 days before crucial England game

Ashley Cole has accepted an invitation to play in a friendly in Africa at the end of the season – 10 days before England's vital Euro 2012 qualifying tie against Switzerland at Wembley.

The Chelsea left-back is set to make the 13-hour return flight to Accra in Ghana for the match on 25 May, which has been organised by his team-mate Michael Essien to raise awareness of the need for peace in Africa.

But Cole's decision to tell Essien that he is ready to play in the Peace Game between African and Rest of the World XIs could cause consternation. On top of the travelling time, Cole needs to nurse his problematic ankle and he tends not to train fully after matches. The friendly would almost certainly be of the non-contact, exhibition variety yet it would not be hard to imagine the reaction were Cole to pick up an injury of any description.

Essien had hoped that John Terry would play in the Peace Game but the prospect of the Chelsea and England captain doing so appears unlikely and it was generally believed that Capello's players would not feature. It remains to be seen whether Cole does play but Essien appears to be counting him in.

Cole is rumoured to be in line to captain the Rest of the World XI, which could contain the Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda. The Africa team is set to include Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o of Internazionale, and Manchester City's Touré brothers, Kolo and Yaya. Kolo is currently suspended after he tested positive for a "specified substance".

"If you look at Africa, the biggest names are Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and the Touré brothers," Essien said. "They have all confirmed. I am still talking to a few more. Ashley Cole is coming down and Malouda will come down as well. So the people should expect some world-class players in Ghana. They will see ex-players and current players, they are all coming down."

Essien, who is an African Union peace ambassador, said he has "spoken to Paolo Maldini and many other great players". George Weah, the former world player of the year, now 44, is expected to feature.

"We just want to raise awareness about peace in Africa and, hopefully, we can generate funds for African Union projects," Essien said. "Football is a very big thing in Africa, people love football, so it's always good to deliver the message through football. Hopefully, this game will help to bring peace in Africa because if you look at what has happened in Ivory Coast and Libya, it's not good. 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."

Essien also confirmed that he had ended his exile from the Ghana national team. "I am available for selection against Congo in June," he said. "I want to help my country qualify for the next African Nations Cup. They have done more than well during my absence and it shows how good the squad is. The Black Stars are not a one-man team."

:clap: Well done Ashley! Good to see such footballers reforming their negative reputations by helping those less fortunate. He'll join the likes of Drogba, Kalou, Mikel ect.

Edited by LDN Blue
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I like how the media (daily mail) are making it out like he doesn't care about England.

Here are some of the 'key words' used from the daily mail article..

. Ashley Cole has promised to dash to Africa

. Cole puts England on alert

. Which may alarm Fabio Capello


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Bravo Ashley for putting all the Alist stuff aside to go and do something worthwhile and good

blah to the press. fucking biased twats they Are. just As credible as A drunk dude in A house of parliment

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