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05.06.2004 Football News

Group Two Preview

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Uganda's opening match in Group 2 of the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, at home to neighbours the DR Congo, has been postponed until Sunday. The Simbas were prevented from leaving Kinshasa because of the worsening security situation in the country.

Given the political tension between the two countries in recent years, the match has the potential to be explosive.

DR Congo will be led by their new coach Claude LeRoy, who left out Monaco's Shabani Nonda for unknown reasons.

Also missing is Lomana LuaLua, unable to play in Sunday's match as a result of a suspension imposed after he was expelled from DR Congo's game against Tunisia at the Cup of Nations.

Uganda's latest hope Chelsea's Joel Kitamirike will not be in the team on Sunday, as he has refused to give up his British citizenship.

World Cup fixtures and tables

The youngster has pointed out that if he does give it up it would mean having to get a work permit to play in England and that would limit his chances of ever breaking into the Chelsea squad.

Under Ugandan immigration law it is forbidden to hold dual nationality.

The Cranes have several overseas-based players in their squad including Suleiman Tenywa who plays in the US as well as Philip Ssozi and Nestroy Kizito who both ply their trade in Serbia.

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has admitted that he knows nothing about his opponents on Saturday the Cape Verde Islands.

On the positive side Baxter has convinced England-based defender Mark Fish to return after a self-imposed three-year absence from the Bafana Bafana.

But European Champions League winner Benni McCarthy is unavailable as he is getting married, while Steven Pienaar is injured.

South Africa FA are angered that Emile Baron was not released by his Norwegian club Lillestrom and have subsequently asked Fifa to suspend the player from a league match on Monday.

The Cape Verde Islands, far from a major power in the African game, appear to have failed in their attempt to persuade Marseille's Manuel dos Santos to play for them.

Burkina Faso host Ghana,whose haphazard preparations have been branded "laughable" by Portuguese coach Mariano Barreto.

A furious Barreto warned that attitudes had to change given the importance of Saturday's match.

"I have an important game against Burkina Faso and expect a much better response than this," he said.

"Most countries are taking these qualifiers seriously but as always, I'm having problems with my training camp."

Barreto was talking on Monday after only 10 of his 19 foreign-based players had arrived for training.

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