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Ghana Coach to Woo Salou

 - Monday 20 November 2006.

By Ibrahim Sannie

Ghana coach Claude Le Roy says he will try to persuade Ibrahim Salou(photo) not to turn his back on the Black Stars.

Earlier this year, the 27-year-old was called up for Ghana but was not happy with his invitation to the national team.

The Belgium-based forward was asked to pick up his visa and ticket for a match in Asia yet felt the Ghana Football Association (GFA) could have done more to help.

Since then, Belgium’s Football Federation has written to the GFA asking permission to select Salou for their national team after he acquired Belgian citizenship in March.

Yet Le Roy is determined that the Club Brugge forward will turn out for the Black Stars.

"I have left messages on Salou’s mobile phone but he has not returned my calls," Le Roy told BBC Sport.

"Even though he has not returned them, I will go to Brugge next time I am in Europe to try to explain to him why it is interesting for him to play for the Black Stars and not the Belgian national team.

"If I was a player and I had to choose between Ghana and Belgium, I would choose Ghana because for me, the future of the Black Stars is more interesting than the future of the Belgium national team.

"I will try to explain this to him and after that it will be his choice."

Salou has not represented any team at international level, whether at junior or senior level.

Le Roy is keen to find more strikers, as the Black Stars lack firepower up front - a long-standing problem which raised its head again in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Australia.

Ghana reached the second round of the 2006 World Cup while Belgium have not qualified for a finals since 2002.