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26.03.2005 Football News

Minor Boost for Ghana

By Space FM/BBC

Striker Ariza Makukula will not be allowed to play for the DR Congo in Sunday's 2006 World Cup qualifier against Ghana.

Makukula, who plays for Sevilla in Spain, has trained with the Simbas this week as they prepared for the qualifier in Kinshasa but officials say that they have been unable to get permission for him to play.

The 24-year-old was born in Kinshasa but is a Portuguese under-21 international, having moved with his family to Europe while still a child.

The DR Congo have applied to Fifa for the striker to change his international status. However football's world governing body told BBC Sport in an e-mail that 'the documents accompanying the file were not complete.'

Officials are still hopeful he will play for them in future matches. Makukula has been heavily courted by DR Congo coach Claude LeRoy, after initially having committed his international future to Portugal, and agreed to travel to Kinshasa for Sunday's game.

LeRoy said that the burly forward had fitted in well during training this week and had made a strong impression on his team mates.

The DR Congo and Ghana are second in the Group Two standings.

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