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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 10:41 am 
Tunisia 2004: The Premiership Exodus

--------------------------THISDAY SPORTS TODAY-------------------------

With the African Cup of Nations causing a series of club v country debates, BBC Sport runs down the England-based players who could be heading to Tunisia for the tournament, which runs from 24 January - 14 February.

Jay Jay Okocha (Nigeria)

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce has fought tooth and nail to keep the inspirational midfielder at the club, but Okocha looks set to link up with the Nigeria squad.

Kanu (Nigeria)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reluctantly allowed Kanu to join the Nigeria squad - but he will travel at the last possible moment.

Joseph Yobo (Nigeria)

Defender Yobo's absence could not come at a worse time for Everton boss David Moyes, who is without Alessandro Pistone through injury while the unsettled David Unsworth could leave in the January transfer window.

Celestine Babayaro (Nigeria)

Babayaro has lost his place at Chelsea to Wayne Bridge and may welcome a run of games in Tunisia - if he makes the final Nigeria squad.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Nigeria)

Portsmouth's squad is already stretched by injuries and the absence of striker Yakubu will not help boss Harry Redknapp's mood.

Geremi (Cameroon)

The Chelsea midfielder looks set to be a key player for defending champions Cameroon.

Eric Djemba-Djemba (Cameroon)

The Manchester United summer signing was involved for Cameroon in November and looks set for a call-up to the African Nations Cup.

Amdy Faye (Senegal)

Redknapp will also lose Faye, providing the midfielder recovers from injury in time.

El-Hadji Diouf (Senegal)

Like Kanu, Senegal's Diouf has been told by Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier that he will not be released from club duty until the New Year.

Salif Diao (Senegal)

Liverpool's other Senegal midfielder will travel to Tunisia for the tournament - but only if he recovers from an ankle injury in time.

Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

Cisse has not been a regular for Birmingham this season and will miss a further month when he joins the Senegal squad.

Henri Camara (Senegal)

Premiership strugglers Wolves look likely to lose striker Camara to Senegal.

Lamine Sakho (Senegal)

Sakho, one of Peter Reid's summer loan signings, has not proved popular with Leeds caretaker boss Eddie Gray but is likely to join up with Senegal in January.

Salomon Olembe (Cameroon)

Olembe also joined Leeds on loan in the summer, but he too has not played under Eddie Gray and would welcome a call-up for Cameroon.

Mbulelo Mabizela (South Africa)

Tottenham's Mabizela has been named in South Africa's squad for the tournament but since the 23-year-old is yet to break into the Spurs first team, he should not be too sorely missed.

Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)

Sheffield United striker Ndlovu is Zimbabwe's captain and considered retirement earlier this year but looks set to stay on for one last tilt at the African Cup of Nations.

George Koumantarakis is in South Africa's squad despite not having played for Preston since March, when he underwent knee surgery, while Gillingham's Mamady Sidibe will represent Mali.

Peterborough defender Ogbonna Kanu has been named in Nigeria's provisional squad, as has Mansfield's George Abbey.

Wolves' Isaac Okoronkwo, who is yet to make his Premiership debut, joins them.


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