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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
DR Congo chase Porto winger
By Mark Gleeson
BBC Sport

Bosingwa has already played for the Portuguese under-21 side

The Democratic Republic of Congo hope to persuade FC Porto winger Bosingwa to declare his availability for the country ahead of the start of their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Kinshasa-born player is a Portuguese under-21 international but could switch allegiance under new Fifa rules because he has not played for Portugal's senior side.

The Fifa rules state that a footballer capped at junior level can represent another country at senior level, but only as long as he possesses dual nationality and makes the request to change nationality under the age of 21.

Yet football's world governing body has waived the age limit until October, allowing Bosingwa, who will turn 22 in August, to make the switch should he so desire.

The winger, who has been a bit part player this season for FC Porto as they march towards the Portuguese league title and a place in the Uefa Champions League semi-finals, has been named in a pre-selection list of players by DR Congo for their World Cup campaign.

On Wednesday, the Congolese football federation Fecafoot released a list of 56 players who will be considered for selection for the qualifiers, which start in June.

DR Congo have also announced they are to play three warm-up matches ahead of their opening Group 2 qualifier against Uganda in Kampala on 5 June.

The list of players was compiled by Joseph Mukeba, the former national coach who has been named as the assistant to a new foreign coach who Congolese authorities hope to announce before the end of the month.

The list includes a return to the team for Monaco striker Shabani Nonda, recently recovered from a long-term knee injury, and Zico Tumba, the Holland-based striker who has not played for the Congolese since April 1997.

At the Nations Cup finals in Tunisia earlier this year, former French junior international Franck Matingou changed his allegiance and made his international debut for DR Congo.

Others players who have switched nationality since the Fifa rule was passed last October are Michael Cahill (Western Samoa to Australia) as well as several former French junior internationals.

Samir Beloufa and Antar Yahia now play for Algeria, Lamine Sakho for Senegal while Mohamed Lamine Sissokho and Frederic Kanoute both now represent Mali.

Matingou cleared to play
28 Jan 04  |  African
French-born Algerian makes history
03 Jan 04  |  African

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