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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 January, 2005, 12:38 GMT
Players reject Cape Verde
Boavista and Cape Verde's Cafu
Boavista's Cafu has been persuaded to play for the Cape Verde Islands
Three Portugal-based players have rejected the chance to play for the Cape Verde Islands in their 2006 World Cup qualifiers.

The Cape Verde coach Alexandre Alhinho says he is very disappointed that the players have not accepted the offer.

Instead Pele and Rodolfo Limo of Portuguese super league club Belenenses and Ze Rui from Vitoria Setubal have decided to wait for the possibility of a future call-up by Portugal.

Both Pele, 26, and Rodolfo Lima, a 24-year-old striker, had been included in Portugal's B-team squad for the Rio Tejo tournament next week, which also involves Bulgaria, Slovenia and Slovakia.

However the pair have since been dropped from the final list of call-ups by the Portuguese team, seen a springboard to the national side.

Alhinho has spent several months truing to persuade the trio to commit to his squad, already packed with Portuguese-born players of Cape Verdian descent.

The coach says that he has already included Pele twice in the Cape Verde squad only for the player to go back on his initial acceptance of the call-up.

Alhinho said he had also had several discussions with Rodolfo Lima and Ze Rui.

The acquisition of several key players from the top flight in Portugal, including the likes of Boavista's Cafu and Setubal's captain Sandro, has turned the former Portuguese colony into a competitive team in the World Cup qualifiers.

Cape Verde are fourth in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group, behind South Africa, Ghana and the DR Congo, but still have high hopes of qualifying for a first ever appearance at the African Nations Cup finals in Egypt next January.

The Cape Verde Islands, ranked 131st in the world, next play away against Burkina Faso in the qualifying campaign at the end of March.


SEE ALSO
European sides set for Africa
18 Dec 04 |  African
Cape Verde rise in Group Two
09 Oct 04 |  African
Puma accepts Cape Verde call
05 Oct 04 |  African



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