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21.09.2005 Football News

Fifa sets times for World Cup ties

By bbc

Fifa has released the kick-off times for the matches that will decide which five African nations qualify for the 2006 World Cup, as well as those who will contest next year's African Cup of Nations.

Football's world governing body has specified that all but two of the 15 games will be played on Saturday 8 October.

Only Benin's Group Three clash with Libya, which will be played on 9 October, and Zambia's Group One trip to Liberia, scheduled for 2 October, will take place on different dates.

This is because these games have no bearing on potential finalists for Germany 2006 or Egypt 2006.

Yet all fixtures that do impact on who qualifies for either the World Cup or the Nations Cup will be played at the same time.

In Group One, group leaders Togo take on Congo at 1530 GMT, the same time that Senegal, the only team who can catch the Hawks, kick off against Mali in Dakar.

Group Two is the only group where Nations Cup spots are yet to be determined, because three teams - DR Congo, South Africa and Burkina Faso - are still fighting for two places.

All three group games, including table-toppers Ghana's trip to Cape Verde, will take place at 1500 GMT because they all have an impact on who will qualify for the World Cup as well as the Nations Cup.

In Group Three, only Cameroon or Ivory Coast can reach the World Cup and both their matches, against Egypt and Sudan respectively, start at 1500 GMT.

The scenario is the same in Group Four where just two teams, Angola and Nigeria, can qualify. The Angolans' match in Rwanda and Nigeria's home game against Zimbabwe will both start at 1400 GMT.

In Group Five, there is no need for any matches to be synchronised since the three Nations Cup places have already been taken and the only two teams that can qualify for the World Cup - Morocco and Tunisia - play each other in Tunis.

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