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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 12:06 GMT
Diouf urges Nations Cup review
By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport

Senegal and Bolton forward, El Hadji Diouf
Diouf wants to see the Nations Cup take place in the European off-season

Senegal captain El Hadji Diouf has urged the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to review its timing for the Nations Cup.

The 26-year-old, who returned to international football last week after disagreements with Senegal's federation, has wasted no time in taking on new administrators.

"On the eve of the 2008 Nations Cup, I beg Caf to review its programming for the most important African competition," Diouf said.

The two-time African Footballer of the Year said it is time Caf places the competition after the European season, similar to when World Cups or European Championships are played.

The Nations Cup timing has long been a source of frustration to European coaches, who can lose players for over a month at a crucial period of the season.

This year, the tournament takes place between 20 January and 10 February in Ghana.

"Even those African internationals who say nothing are bothered by the dates," the Bolton Wanderers star claimed.

"We are keen to defend the colours of our country and we are conscious of the importance of our national jerseys, but people must not forget that players have duties to their employers who pay big salaries."

Bolton's poor start to the Premiership, lying second bottom after 12 games, may have intensified Diouf's views on the matter.

"All our matches are important now if we are to save our place among the elite," he explained.

Caf is happy with the timing of the Nations Cup, saying that it is not possible to play it after the European season as this would coincide with heavy rains across Africa.



SEE ALSO
Diouf confirms Senegal U-turn
31 Oct 07 |  African


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