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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 13:45 GMT
Togo in Iran for mini-tournament
By Piers Edwards

Tehran's Azadi Stadium
Iran qualified for the World Cup when beating Bahrain 1-0 in June

Togo's players have started arriving in the Iranian capital Tehran ahead of this weekend's four-nation friendly tournament.

The Hawks are one of three World Cup finalists using the matches as preparation for next year's competition in Germany.

Both the hosts and South Americans Paraguay will also be at Germany 2006 although the fourth team, Macedonia, will not participate in the elite finals.

On Friday, Togo play Paraguay at Tehran's enormous Azadi Stadium, which can hold some 130,000 fans, and later Iran take on Macedonia at the same venue.

Yet the Hawks will be without Emmanuel Adebayor as the striker, who finished the top goalscorer in African World Cup qualifying, is injured.

The winners of Friday's matches will face each other in a final on Sunday, which is when the losers will contest a match to decide who finishes third.

"We invited Togo to take part because we wanted four teams from different continents and Togo have of course qualified for Germany," Karim Pour, an Iran Football Federation spokesman, told BBC Sport.

"Playing Togo will help Iran prepare for next year's World Cup finals.

"It will be beneficial not only for Iran but for Togo as well."

Iran qualified for the World Cup when beating Bahrain 1-0 in June to finish second in Group B of Asian qualifying.

Paraguay booked their place in Germany when finishing fourth in South America's group, even beating Argentina 1-0 in a qualifier in September.

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