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Worgu sentenced to flogging in Sudan

By James Copnall
BBC Sport, Sudan

El Merreikh forward Stephen Worgu
Worgu could face 40 lashes after being convicted of drink-driving

Nigerian star Stephen Worgu, who plays in Sudan, has been convicted of drinking alcohol and has been sentenced to be flogged.

Worgu plays for the Sudanese giants Al Merreikh, who are based in Omdurman in Northern Sudan.

Alcohol is illegal in the Muslim North, though not in the semi-autonomous and largely non-Muslim South.

The punishment on the diminutive attacking player has not yet been carried out, as his lawyer has appealed.

If the appeal is turned down, Worgu will receive 40 lashes and have to pay a fine of 250 Sudanese pounds, about US$100.

Fifty pounds was for drinking alcohol, and 200 pounds for driving while drunk.

The offence apparently took place in August of this year.

Worgu was bought by Al Merreikh for US$2.6m from Enyimba in Nigeria, in one of the biggest transfers in African history.

He had been the top scorer in the 2008 African Champions League, with 13 goals.

However Worgu's form on the pitch since his move has been something of a disappointment.

He was often left on the bench in key African Champions League game this season.

Earlier this year Worgu admitted to the BBC he was struggling to adapt to life in Sudan.

"I am finding it hard to adapt. It's a different culture, different religion different language, everything," he said.

"They have this Sharia law, and it's really affecting me also, because you don't feel free to do the things you need to do."

Despite Worgu's struggles, he still hopes to get a move to Europe.

A source close to Al Merreikh told the BBC he believed several foreign clubs were following Worgu closely.

It is not yet clear if this conviction could delay or even stop a potential move out of Africa for the Nigerian.

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see also
Worgu struggles to adapt in Sudan
21 Apr 09 |  African
Worgu explains Sudan switch
28 Oct 08 |  African
Worgu joins Sudan's Al Merreikh
25 Oct 08 |  African
Pillars, Hilal in Champs Lge semis
12 Sep 09 |  African
Merreikh in decisive derby clash
10 Sep 09 |  African

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