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Star denies ritual sacrifice claims
Ghana national soccer team captain and
former Premier League player Asamoah
Gyan has denied any involvement in the
disappearance of two friends, after months
of rumours and even claims of ritual
The Al Ain striker led Ghana’s Black
Stars to a disappointing showing at this
year’s football World Cup in Brazil, where
the team failed to make it beyond the group
But Gyan found himself in the media
spotlight in July when Janet Bandu and
Theophilus Tagoe, known better as rapper
Castro, disappeared during a weekend
outing at an estuary east of Accra.
The two were last seen heading towards
the ocean on a jet ski.
Allegations have swirled in Ghana’s
media since that their disappearance was
The claims reached a fever pitch this
month when the footballer’s brother was
allegedly part of a mob that attacked a local
journalist who had asked the player about
the black magic rumours.
Kissi Agyabeng, a lawyer who was with
Gyan the weekend of the disappearances,
flatly rejected the claims.
“The allegation of spiritual sacrifice can by
no stretch of the imagination be propped
up,” Agyabeng told a news conference
yesterday, flanked by the footballer’s brother
and his manager.
“ We are not blamable for the
disappearance of Castro and Janet Bandu.
We had no hand in that occurrence.”
Agyabeng also apologised to the journalist
that was assaulted.
Despite being seen as one of Africa’s best
hopes at this year’s World Cup, Ghana’s
team unperformed on the pitch and its
camp was wracked with infighting and
a dispute with the government over pay.
Teams of 160 students and staff from
St Bede’s College in Christchurch today
began their mission to raise money for
Canteen, leaving various parts of the
South Island simultaneously to run
The teams set off from eight different
destinations, with two of the teams
having stopovers in Greymouth.
The group that began their journey
from Karamea will hit Greymouth
tomorrow afternoon, while the second
will run into town on Saturday, having
set off from Haast.
The other legs began in Nelson,
Motueka, Port Puponga, Mount Cook,
Cromwell and Lawrence.
Both of the teams on the West
Coast legs include St Bede’s boarders
from Westport, Hokitika and
The run lasts five days, with the teams
due back in Christchurch on Monday.
The money raised during Run for a Life
all goes to Canteen, in support of young
people with cancer.
The mission is to raise as much money
as possible for Canteen while the
students are also learning to ser ve and
help the community
The last time St Bede’s embarked on
the Run for a Life event, the students
raised $160,000 and this year’s teams
hope to improve on that.
One of the groups taking part in the St Bede’s Run for a Life, stopped off in Reefton yesterday on the way to Karamea to
begin their leg of the fundraising run for Canteen.
RUN FOR A LIFE
St Bede’s hit the road for Canteen
Underfire Alastair Cook will lead England
at next year’s World Cup in Australia and
New Zealand, national selector James
Whitaker said yesterday.
The 29-year-old opening batsman
has faced a barrage of criticism over his
captaincy and form but will captain the
team in a seven-match ODI series in Sri
Lanka starting in November ahead of the
World Cup which begins in February.
“We feel he is our best man to lead the
team into the World Cup. He’s our number
one batsman, he’s showed that in the past
and he’ ll show it again in the future,”
Whitaker told the BBC.
“He’s our exceptional leader, he has shown
huge amounts of fortitude and resilience
over the summer, and I’d like to make it
perfectly clear we are 100% behind Alastair
Cook as captain.”
Cook will lead a 16-man squad that shows
little change to the one comprehensively
beaten 3-1 by India, the world’s best ranked
one-day team, this month.
In-form James Taylor and Ravi Bopara,
who did not feature against India, were
recalled and batsman Gary Ballance was
“Congratulations to James Taylor who
has been rewarded for his outstanding
form for Nottinghamshire this season and
fully deserves another opportunity in the
international arena,” Whitaker said in a
“ While Gary Ballance will I’m sure be
disappointed to miss out on this tour he
knows he remains a very important part of
our plans.” — Reuters
Alastair Cook remains at the helm
The All Blacks’ midfield crisis could deepen
during their end-of-year tour to the United
States and Britain if Sonny Bill Williams is
forced to cut his trip short due to the birth of
his first child.
Williams’ wife, Alana, is reportedly due around
the middle of November, when he will be away
from Australia on tour with the All Blacks. The
All Blacks are scheduled to play Scotland on the
15th and Wales on the 22nd.
A recent report from Sydney states Williams,
playing for the Sydney Roosters in the National
Rugby League, has already cleared a dash home
with All Blacks management.
With regular second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu
ruled out for the rest of the season with a
broken arm, Williams’ presence on tour is even
more vital to the All Blacks’ cause.
New Zealand has several midfield options
in Nonu’s absence, including Malakai Fekitoa
and Ryan Crotty, who played in Nonu’s place
in the All Blacks’ 51-20 win over Australia last
month, but Williams would presumably be the
first-choice partner for veteran centre Conrad
A spokeswoman for New Zealand Rugby was
unable to say whether Williams had discussed
with All Blacks management the possibility of
making a quick trip home to Sydney.
Williams’ manager, Khoder Nasser, was
unwilling to discuss the issue and made it clear
that his client was prepared to do all he could
to fit in with the All Blacks’ plans and tour
“Sonny is willing to make himself available
straight away, as soon as his rugby league
commitments are finished. His whole
aspirations are in one direction,” Nasser said.
“ He’s made it clear that he’s available and
willing to do everything he can to make the All
Blacks squad and make the World Cup team.”
Williams is currently focused on helping the
Roosters to back-to-back NRL premierships
and will play in tomorrow night ’s preliminary
final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at
Sydney ’s ANZ Stadium.
Should the Roosters prevail, they will then
line up in the grand final on October 5.
Once his NRL club commitments have
finished, Williams will head to New Zealand
to begin the next chapter in his rugby career
and turn his attention towards the All Blacks’
four-game tour of the US and Britain.
— New Zealand Herald
Sonny Bill’s plans
facing tiny hiccup
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