African Cup of Nations – Squad news round-up

Sat, 12 Jan 20:56:00 2008

Players from African champions Etoile Sahel dominate the final aquad selection for Tunisia for the African Cup of Nations, with eight chosen by coach Roger Lemerre for the upcoming tournament in Ghana.

FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Switzerland FC Zürich Tunisia YAssine Chikhaoui - 0



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The French-born coach called up 12 home-based players for his 23-man squad, released by the Tunisian Football Federation on Friday.

Lemerre, who led Tunisia to success in the 2004 Nations Cup finals, left out defender Tijani Belaid, who was involved in a car crash at the start of the month.

The Slavia Prague player had been expected to recover from minor injuries from the crash which left three other people dead.

Tunisia have been drawn in Group D with Angola, Senegal and South Africa. Their opening match is against Senegal in Tamale on January 23.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Hamdi Kasraoui (Esperance), Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile Sahel), Adel Nefzi (Club Africain)

Defenders: Wissem Abdi (Zamalek), Wissem Bekri (Esperance), Sabeur Ben Frej, Radhouane Felhi, Seif Ghezal (all Etoile Sahel), Karim Hagui (Bayer Leverkusen), Radhi Jaidi (Birmingham City, England), Mehdi Meriah (Etoile Sahel), Chaker Zouaghi (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Midfielders: Chaouki Ben Saada (Bastia), Yassine Mikari (Grasshoppers Zurich), Joahar Mnari (Nuremburg), Mehdi Nafti (Birmingham City), Mejdi Traoui (Etoile Sahel), Kamel Zaiem (Esperance)

Strikers: Mehdi Ben Dhifallah, Amine Chermiti (both Etoile Sahel), Yacine Chikhaoui (FC Zurich), Francileudo dos Santos (Toulouse), Issam Jomaa (Caen).

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German-based midfielder Collin Benjamin was named in Namibia’s squad of 23.

Benjamin, from Hamburg SV, missed last weekend’s friendly in Egypt and much of the country’s pre-tournament preparation but was still included by new coach Arie Schans.

Benjamin is one of two European-based players in the squad. The other is midfielder Quinton Jacobs from Norwegian second division club Bryne.

Namibia, who are making only their second appearance at the Nations Cup finals, left out veteran Robert Nauseb, who played at their last appearance in Burkina Faso in 1998. He failed to recover in time from a knee injury.

The Namibians play their opening match at the Nations Cup finals against Morocco in Accra on January 21. They have a friendly away in Senegal on Saturday as their final preparatory match.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Athiel Mbaha (Orlando Pirates), Abisai Shiningayamwe (Jomo Cosmos), Aphraim Tjihonge (Black Leopards)

Defenders: Franklin April (Civics), Jeremiah Baisako (Ramblers), Richard Gariseb (Wits University), Gottlieb Nakuta (Blue Waters), Maleagi Ngarizemo (FC Cape Town), Michael Pienaar (Ramblers), Hartman Toromba (Black Leopards)

Midfielders: Collin Benjamin (Hamburg SV), Brian Brendell (Civics), Quinton Jacobs (Bryne), Wycliff Kambonde (Jomo Cosmos), Jamunavandu Ngatjizeko (Civics), Sydney Plaatjies (Jomo Cosmos), Oliver Risser (unattached), Letu Shatimiene (Primeiro Agosto)

Forwards: Rudolf Bester (Eleven Arrows), Lazarus Kaimbi (Jomo Cosmos), Muna Katupose (Oshakati City), Jacob Pineas (Ramblers), Meraai Swartbooi (Primeiro Agosto).

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Guinea have replaced French-born defender Kevin Constant with Mamadou Dioulde Bah in their squad.

The Guinea Football Federation said the Toulouse defender had not been given permission by FIFA to play for the country in the upcoming tournament in Ghana.

“FIFA have told us he does not qualify to play in this competition,” Fode Capi Camara, secretary general of the Guinea Football Federation, said.

“With the permission of the player we sent a dossier to FIFA to prove the Guinean origins of his mother to allow him to play for the national team. Unfortunately this investigation will not been completed in time.”

The 20-year-old Constant has already been capped by the west Africans in a friendly match against Senegal in October.

Replacement Bah is from French club Racing Strasbourg but has yet to make a first team appearance. The 19-year-old is also uncapped at international level.

Guinea play hosts Ghana in the opening game of the Nations Cup in Accra on January 20.

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