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Sports News Tue, 13 Oct 1998

Kenya wants new venue for Nations Cup qualifier

Nairobi (Kenya) 12 October 1998 Kenya is contemplating requesting for an alternative venue to Kinshasa for the cup of nations qualifier between its national soccer team, Harambee Stars and Simba of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kenya has so far not made no formal request but sources within football circles said it might do so if the on-going civil war persisted.

Harambee Stars are scheduled to take on the Simba on January 24 next year in their first leg qualifier to be played in the DRC capital.

However, Adnan el-Gindy, the deputy head of the competitions committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) told journalists on Sunday that Kenya should not fear sending its team to the DRC, as Sudan played in Kinshasa recently.

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"Personally I do not think there is a serious problem in Congo as international matches were played there recently," he said.

Kenya's worries were further enhanced over the weekend by the reported downing of a Congolese passenger plane by rebels around Kindu in estern DRC.

Harambee Stars are battling for a place in the nations cup finals, together with Madagascar, Zambia and the DRC in group six.

The two top teams in each of the seven groups in Africa will book their tickets to the 2000 cup finals in Harare, Zimbabwe. GRi

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