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African soccer digest

© Reuters 2002

JOHANNESBURG, March 5 (Reuters) - A digest of African soccer stories over the last days:

Dar-es-Salaam's Simba won a sixth East and Central African Club Championship title on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Prince Louis of Burundi in the final of the 12-nation event, played on the island of Zanzibar. Veteran international Nteze John scored the winner after five minutes. Home side Mlandege finished third after a penalty shootout decided the third place play-off against SC Villa of Uganda, after the match had ended in a 1-1 draw. Villa had goalkeeper Hannington Kalyesubula suspended for the match after CECAFA, the regional organising body, said he had impolitely shaken hands with the dignitaries before the start of the semifinals. Kalyesubulua was suspended for one game for holding his gloves in the same hand that he offered the Zanzibar Chief Justice Hamid Mohamed, who was the guest of honour at the match, Ugandan newspapers reported on Monday.

South Africa's under-19 women's team have been thrown out of the World Cup qualifiers after their government refused to allow their opponents from the Central African Republic to enter the country for the second leg of their qualifying tie. The Central African Republic squad were turned away at Johannesburg airport by customs officials because they had no visas. Confederation of African Football (CAF) rules state that any team whose government refuses entry visas to the visiting team or match officials will automatically be disqualified. South Africa have appealed the decision but CAF, in the meantime, have already announced dates for the final qualifying round match between Nigeria and the Central African Republic. It will be played over two legs at the end of this month and in mid April. The winner of the tie will represent Africa at the inaugural women's under-19 World Cup in Canada in August.

Kabwe Warriors became the second club this year to receive a three-year ban from African club competition, the Confederation of African Football said at the weekend. Warriors' withdrawal from this year's CAF Cup has cost them a three-year ban and a fine of $1,500. The club withdrew from their tie next week against Botswana Defence Force XI because of financial reasons. Last month CAF handed out a similar punishment to the Togo club Sara de Bafailo who did not turn up for an African Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round tie at Atletico Malabo of Equatorial Guinea.

Botswana's national team set a new milestone on Saturday with a record 6-2 win over Swaziland in a friendly international in Gaborone. It was the biggest ever margin of victory for the sparsely-populated southern African country since they entered international football some 25 years ago. Oliver Pikati scored a second-half hat-trick for Botswana, who were using the match to prepare for their meeting with World Cup finalists South Africa in the Cosafa Castle Cup. The match will be played in Gaborone on March 30.

Reports provided by

Tuesday, 12 March
Ronaldo gets Brazil call for Yugoslavia friendly
Bulgaria appoints new referees' chief
S.African coach Queiroz resigns
Tunisia announce five warm-up games in May
Scan confirms Dugarry out for a month
UEFA to resolve Romania's Euro 2004 qualifier row
Troussier kicks media out of Japan training
Croat Jozic mulls new names for Slovenia friendly
South Africa coach threatens to quit
Monday, 11 March
Maldini gets work permit, announces Paraguay squad
Israel offers Moller Nielsen two-year contract extension
Russia's under-21 team cancels friendly in Israel
Svensson set to return after injury scare
France's Thuram out for a month
Latin America round-up
Croatian Jozic looks for midfield alternatives
Sunday, 10 March
Lewis strike gives U.S. win over Ecuador
Dugarry injured, could miss Scotland warmup
Le Saux's England chances fade after Cup red card
Dane Jorgensen could miss Ireland friendly
Saturday, 9 March
Home-based Americans ready for Ecuador test
Le Saux bemused by ongoing Eriksson snub
Bulgarian referee banned until end of season
Adriano refuses to give up dream
Friday, 8 March
Tunisia call up locals for South Korea friendly
Swedish coach monitoring Blomqvist
Ecuador defender Hurtado recovering well
Mexico confirm Albania friendly, call-up Caballero
Thursday, 7 March
South Africa announce warm-up matches
Germany's Rehmer to have ankle surgery
Israel eyes Cyprus as possible UEFA match venue
South Korea to play China, France warm-ups
Japan set for tug-of-war over Ono
Mexico friendly with Bulgaria off, Albania lined up
Wednesday, 6 March
Injured Walem struggling with home comforts
Injured Ecuador captain Hurtado to miss U.S friendly
UEFA bans Euro competition ties in Israel
Japan's strikers firing blanks

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