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  Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Italy's African imports
Nomvethe
Nomvethe was one of SA's World Cup heroes

Africa's footballers in Serie A will not be beginning their season on time.

A dispute over television money has put the start of the season back by two weeks to 15 September.

It means the first round of games will have to be played at a later date.

The row promises a tense and unpredictable start to what is one of Europe's very best leagues.

Africa is less well-represented in Serie A than other major European leagues, and there are few players in the very top clubs.

Only Sierra Leone's Mohammed Kallon is right up there, and the striker's superb season for Inter Milan last year helped them to third position in the table and put him in on the shortlist for the BBC's African Player of the Year Award.

But it is a league containing some of Africa's youngest and brightest young stars.

Siyabonga Nomvethe and Hani Said have experience beyond their years and this season are ready to shine.

There is also Axel Cedric Konan from the Ivory Coast at Lecce, Ghana's Mohammed Gargo at Udinese and Cameroon's Patrick Mboma at Parma, though his future is looking doubtful.

One sad omission this year is Chievo's striker Jason Mayele from DR Congo.

The player died in a car crash near Verona in March at the end of the club's best-ever season.


New seasons kick off
See also:

20 Aug 02 | Europe
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