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Congo midfielder banned after Nations Cup dismissal

© Reuters 2002

BAMAKO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo midfielder Alexis Tekumu has been banned from playing in his country's next two African Nations Cup qualifying matches after the red card he received in the quarter-final on Monday.

The Swiss-based substitute became the first player to be sent off at the Nations Cup finals in Mali after a bad tackle towards the end of his country's 2-0 defeat by Senegal in Bamako.

He launched a tackle on Senegal's Pape Bouba Diop with his studs showing and was promptly sent off by Italian referee Domenico Messina.

With the Congolese eliminated from the tournament, the Confederation of African Football announced on Wednesday they had banned the player from competing in DR Congo's first two qualifying matches for the 2004 finals, which are to be hosted by Tunisia.

The qualifiers start in September and the draw for the preliminaries is to be conducted in Bamako on Friday.

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