Hodgson wants compromise
Roy Hodgson has called on the Ghanaian FA to compromise over a potential row concerning John Pantsil.
Last Updated: 10/12/09 8:41pm
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has called on the Ghanaian Football Association to compromise over a potential club-versus-country row concerning John Pantsil.
Ghana have announced they will begin their preparations for the African Cup of Nations with a training camp in South Africa on 27th December, two weeks before hosts Angola kick off the tournament against Mali.
But Fulham play their West London derby with Chelsea on 28th December, two days after their Boxing Day clash at home against Tottenham, and Hodgson wants Pantsil available for both games.
While Fifa rules stipulate clubs must release their players 14 days before the start of any major international tournament, its rules also say there can be some leeway if a club and the respective country agree beforehand and Hodgson is calling on the Ghanaian FA to compromise.
He said: "I expect Pantsil to be playing for us on the 28th and he will unless Fifa intervene and insist he goes.
"It's a bit disrespectful of the African nations to write to the English clubs asking their players to be released on December 27.
"They know that we all have matches on the 28th.
"It's probably just a little bit of oversight on their part and I don't expect for one minute for Ghana to insist that John Pantsil meets up with them on 27th, the day before we play Chelsea, or Michael Essien (of Chelsea) leave for the same fixture."
He added: "I would have expected they, knowing our players and knowing how our programme works, to actually write us a letter asking us for a player to be released on December 29 and not December 27."
Hodgson admits his side will miss 28-year old Pantsil when he is away but insists they will cope.
"We knew that when we signed the player he would be going to the African Nations Cup," Hodgson said.
"Instead of complaining about why he is playing football in the African Nations Cup, we have to get our minds set that he's injured and we can't use him just like I have had to get my mind set on (Danny) Murphy, (Simon) Davies, (Andy) Johnson and (Diomansy) Kamara being out injured."