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banner Saturday, 4 August, 2001, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
European preview: France Div Two
Abdelsalem Ouaddou was a big money move out of France's second division
Abdelsalem Ouaddou was a big money move out of France's second division
BBC Sport Online's Filippo Maria Ricci continues a regular series previewing the new season for African players in Europe's major leagues by focusing on France's second division

The second level in France is almost as packed as the top flight with African players. 74 Africans play in this division, with eight at Nice alone.

More notable moves included Algerian striker Ali Mecabih going from Martigues to newly-promoted Grenoble and Ivorian striker Hamed Diallo - who scored 20 for Laval in 1998/99 - joining Amiens from Le Havre.

Egutu Oliseh, the younger brother of Nigerian captain Sunday, went from Nancy to Beauvais, who saw Togo's Komlan Assignon depart to Creteil in the Parisian suburbs.

The only player coming in from abroad was Senegalese midfielder Papa Hamadou N'Diaye, who joined Grenoble from Port Autonomme Dakar.

Four left the country, including Moroccan international defender Abdelsalem Ouaddou, who made a 2m move to English Premiership newcomers Fulham.

Traveller moves on

DR Congo's Alain Masudi went from St Etienne to Sturm Graz on a four-year deal, but he had spent last season at Swiss club Lausanne and actually started the new season with them.

Masudi left St Etienne for Austria
Masudi left St Etienne for Austria
Morocco midfielder Said Chiba left Nancy for Greek side Aris Salonika while much-travelled Cameroonian striker Alphonse Tchami put a bad spell at Nice behind him by going to Russian side Chernomorets Novorossisk.

It is yet another destination for Tchami, who has played in Argentina, Scotland, Germany, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates.

His brother Bertrand has switched from lower league club Romorantin to become another of Grenoble's African contingent.

Senegal has the biggest contingent overall with 15 players, while Algeria have 12, Mali ten and the Ivory Coast eight.

Big name Madagascan

Less well represented are Ghana, who only have Arthur Moses at Nimes, Gabon (Daniel Cousin at Le Mans) and Mauritius (Desiree Periatambee at Grenoble).

Moses is Ghana's sole representative
Moses is Ghana's sole representative
One more unusual representative is a Madagascan at Chateauroux, who surely possesses the longest surname in European football.

Tahina Randriamananantoandro (21 letters) has moved from Lens, and his new club have sensibly restricted the name on the back of his shirt to just 'Randria'.

Cameroon have four players at relegated Strasbourg alone - Joseph Ndo, Pierre Njanka, Jacques Momha and Alexis Ngambi, while their compatriot Romarin Billong is starting his 13th season in France, at Nancy.

Even he, however, is outlived by Senegalese striker Amara Traore, who is starting his eight season with Gueugnon and his 15th in France.

Traore started the season with a 93rd minute winner at home to Nimes to record his 127th goal, all but eight have been scored in the second division.

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See also:

03 Aug 01 |  Africa
European preview: France
31 Jul 01 |  Africa
European preview: Germany
01 Aug 01 |  Africa
Ouaddou makes big move
01 Aug 01 |  Africa
Masudi signs for Sturm
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