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Colombia’s Falcao ruled out of WC Mba dropped from Nigeria squad, injured Ribery makes France cut

BUENOS AIRES, June 3, (Agencies): Colombia striker Radamel Falcao has failed to recover from knee surgery and was left out of their World Cup squad on Monday, coach Jose Pekerman announced. The 28-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing for Monaco in a French Cup match in January. Falcao, nicknamed Tiger, was a key element of the Colombia squad that finished second to Argentina in the South American qualifying group, scoring nine goals in 13 matches. Experienced defender Luis Amaranto Perea, who has been recovering from injury, and forward Luis Muriel also missed the cut from Pekerman’s provisional squad. “I had lots of hopes but, well, we’ve got to press on and support the team from the outside and wish all my team mates the best for a good World Cup,” Falcao, sitting next to Pekerman at Colombia’s training base outside Buenos Aires, said at a media conference.

“Today, I’m in very good shape but conscious that I still need a bit (more time) to play again and I didn’t want to deny a place to a team mate who was 100 percent fit, nor do something imprudent to damage my health.” The team’s talisman was the player that Pekerman could least afford to lose as his side feature this month at their first finals for 16 years. Colombia face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C in Brazil later this month.

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe)
Defenders: Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham United), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo)
Midfielders: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Juan Quintero (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional)
Forwards: Jackson Martinez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin)

PARIS: France coach Didier Deschamps included Bayern Munich forward Franck Ribery, who has been suffering from lower back pains, in his 23-man World Cup squad on Monday.
The only change from the list Deschamps named last month features St Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier replacing the injured Steve Mandanda.
France face Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E in Brazil later this month.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Stephane Ruffier (St Etienne), Mickael Landreau (Bastia)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (Paris St Germain) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Paris St Germain), Clement Grenier (Olympique Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris St Germain), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loic Remy (Newcastle United), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

ABUJA: Nigeria have dropped African Nations Cup hero Sunday Mba from their World Cup squad, details of which were released after the midnight deadline on Monday for the submission of the final 23-man selection.
Mba scored the winning goal when Nigeria beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in the African Nations Cup final in South Africa last year, but the midfielder was among seven provisional squad members dropped by coach Stephen Keshi for the tournament in Brazil.
Also omitted were left winger Nnamdi Oduamadi, who scored a hat-trick at last year’s Confederation Cup in Brazil, and Victor Obinna, who scored a decisive free-kick for Nigeria in last November’s World Cup qualification play-off against Ethiopia.
Keshi said he had anguished over the final selection but would be retaining the sidelined players for a friendly against Greece in Philadelphia on Tuesday and Nigeria’s last warm-up international against the US in Jacksonville on Sunday.
Drawn in Group F, Nigeria start their World Cup campaign against Iran in Curitiba on June 16 and also play against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Argentina.

Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Vincent Enyeama (Lille)
Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Elderson Echiejile (Monaco), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars), Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod), Joseph Yobo (Norwich City)
Midfielders: Ramon Azeez (Almeira), Reuben Gabriel (Waasland-Beveren), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge)
Forwards: Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United), Michael Babatunde (Volyn Lutsk), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen), Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City)

SYDNEY: Striker Josh Kennedy, who scored the goal that got Australia to the World Cup finals, was one of four players cut from the squad when Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou named his final group of 23 for the tournament on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old scored the vital goal against Oman in Sydney last June but a back problem means he joins experienced right back Luke Wilkshire, attacking midfielder Tom Rogic and goalkeeper Mark Birighitti in missing out.
Rogic had been expected to be one of the faces of the Socceroos campaign but the 21-year-old has been struggling with a groin problem and has been unable to impose his game on opposition defences in recent outings.
Wilkshire, 32, won his 80th cap in the “farewell” friendly against South Africa last week and had been expected to make the squad because of injury doubts over his rival for the right back spot, Ivan Franjic.
Australia open their World Cup campaign against Chile in Cuiaba on June 13.

Goalkeepers: Mathew Ryan (Club Bruges), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United)
Defenders: Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)
Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa, Qatar), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Dario Vidosic (Sion), James Troisi (Atalanta), Massimo Luongo (Swindon), Tommy Oar (Utrecht).
Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt 1899), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Duesseldorf), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets).

BUENOS AIRES: Central defender Martin Demichelis was named on Monday in Argentina’s 23-man World Cup squad while regular reserve midfielder Ever Banega was left out.
Coach Alejandro Sabella recalled Demichelis to his provisional squad last month after his title-winning season with English Premier League side Manchester City following more than two years out of the Argentina reckoning. The defender who made way for Demichelis is another veteran of the 2010 finals in South Africa, Nicolas Otamendi, who was on loan at Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro and had also only recently been recalled by Sabella.
Benfica winger Enzo Perez also found a place in the squad for the Brazil finals starting on June 12 but Banega, who joined Newell’s Old Boys from Valencia this season, missed the cut after illness and loss of form.
Argentina, captained by Lionel Messi, will be looking to win their third world crown. They face Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria in Group F.
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors)
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Federico Fernandez (Napoli), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City), Jose Basanta (Monterrey)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell’s Old Boys), Enzo Perez (Benfica)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St Germain)

QUITO: Midfielder Segundo Castillo was included in Ecuador’s 23-man World Cup squad on Monday despite needing up to three weeks to recover from a knee injury he sustained at the weekend.
Coach Reinaldo Rueda, whose squad list was issued by the Ecuadorean Football Federation, considers the central midfielder, a veteran of Ecuador’s last finals in Germany in 2006, an essential part of his team.
The widely-travelled 32-year-old suffered a nasty knock on his knee in a clash in which Mexico’s Luis Montes broke a leg during a friendly in Texas on Saturday.
Rueda has opted to take 19-year-old Carlos Gruezo of VfB Stuttgart, capped twice, as extra cover in midfield in his only surprise pick.
Ecuador’s opening Group E match against Switzerland in Brasilia is on June 15 before they face Honduras on June 20 in Curitiba and France in Rio de Janeiro five days later.

Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona SC), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Adrian Bone (El Nacional)
Defenders: Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Jorge Guagua, Oscar Bagui, Gabriel Achilier (all Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona SC)
Midfielders: Segundo Castillo (Al-Hilal), Carlos Gruezo (VfB Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Luis Saritama (Barcelona SC), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Edison Mendez (Independiente Santa Fe), Michael Arroyo (Atlante)
Forwards: Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Fidel Martinez, Jaime Ayovi (both Tijuana), Enner Valencia (Pachuca)

BOSNIA: Bosnia named their 23-man World Cup squad on Monday as the Balkan nation geared up for a final warm-up against Mexico that coach Safet Susic described as an acid test ahead of their Group F opener against Argentina on June 15.
The Bosnians, who have qualified for their first major tournament as an independent nation, are relishing the chance to notch a first win over the Mexicans in Chicago after losing both previous encounters against their opponents.
“Mexico are a good team and it is about time we tasted victory against them,” Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic told reporters after Susic cancelled morning practice to let his players recuperate from minor knocks.
“It is a friendly but this is the final stage of our World Cup preparations and every result matters. We have to keep playing at a high level because it’s the only way we can get results.”
A double by Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko gave Bosnia a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in St Louis on Saturday, taking his tally to 35 goals in 61 internationals.
Having praised his players after the match, Susic said he would field his best XI against Mexico and hoped both sets of fans would create a spectacular occasion at Soldier Field.
“I am sure both will turn up in numbers and given the passion for football in our two countries it should be a cracking atmosphere,” added the 59-year-old former Yugoslavia forward.
“I will field our strongest formation as the game against Mexico should sort out any lingering doubts who will start against Argentina.
“We looked for and got two strong opponents in the build-up because we have some outstanding players who needed this kind of challenge,” said Susic. “They would have been deprived of the most glittering moment in their careers if we had failed to qualify for the World Cup and we are going out there to prove our worth.”
The Bosnians also face Nigeria and Iran in Group F in Brazil later this month.

Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Jasmin Fejzic (Aalen), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka)
Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke 04), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Toni Sunjic (Zarya Lugansk), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg)
Midfielders: Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Miralem Pjanic (AS Roma), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor), Tino Sven Susic (Hajduk Split), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz)
Forwards: Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB)

ACCRA: Ghana’s 23-player World Cup squad announced by coach Kwesi Appiah:
Goalkeepers: Adam Larsen Kwarasey (Str?msgodset/NOR), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates/RSA), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias/GRE), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege/BEL), Harrison Afful (Esperance/TUN), John Boye (Rennes/FRA), Jonathan Mensah (Evian/FRA), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA)
Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan/ITA), Sulley Ali Muntari (AC Milan/ITA), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar/RUS), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus/ITA), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese/ITA), Afriyie Acquah (Parma/ITA), AndrÈ Ayew (Marseille/FRA), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan/RUS), Christian Atsu Twasam (Vitesse/NED), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough/ENG)
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain/UAE), Kevin-Prince Boateng (AC Milan/ITA), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes/FRA), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux/FRA)

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