John Pantsil is at the heart of a club v country row as Fulham are keen to play the Ghana defender against Chelsea on December 28.
Manager Roy Hodgson is adamant that Pantsil will face Chelsea, despite FIFA requirements stating international players must be released two weeks before the African Nations Cup, which starts on January 10, 2010.
Should Pantsil play against Chelsea, the Football Association of Ghana can request that any points Fulham pick up against Carlo Ancelotti’s side be forfeited. Hodgson insisted, however, that Pantsil will play in the London derby.
“I expect Pantsil to be playing for us on the 28th and he will unless FIFA intervene and insist he goes,” Hodgson said. “It’s a bit disrespectful of the African nations to write to the English clubs asking their players to be released on the 27th of December. 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.”
The Ghana FA were unavailable for comment on the matter.