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  Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
SA refuse Radebe ruling
Radebe was injured while playing for Leeds United
Radebe was out for 14 months with his knee injury
The South African FA is to ask Fifa to intervene further over Leeds United's refusal to release Lucas Radebe for an international this weekend.

Fifa ruled on Tuesday that the 33-year-old defender was not fit enough to travel to Abidjan for this weekend's African Nations Cup qualifier against the Ivory Coast.

Fifa was forced to resolve the row after the Safa wrote to the world governing body demanding them to compel Leeds into releasing Radebe.

South Africa did not want to go in to the match, their toughest of the qualifying group, without their most experienced player and captain.

However, the English Premiership side said Radebe's long-standing knee problem, which routinely requires post-match ice-packs to reduce the swelling, made him unfit to travel let alone play for South Africa.

But the South African FA do not plan to let the matter rest.

Safa spokesperson Sithembile Khala said that while they accepted they would be without Radebe this weekend, they would be making a further approach to Fifa.

"We have been given different reasons by his team, but nothing very specific, and that is why we have decided to approach Fifa," he said.

"These games are played within the Fifa rules. The clubs have a duty to release players in line with these requirements.

"If for whatever reason the player cannot be released, we need to be informed, and that did not happen in the case of Lucas until shortly before we left for the Ivory Coast.

"We have spoken to Lucas and he has indicated his willingness to come and play, but the club would not release him," Khala added.

"This is not the first time it has happened. We were hoping to resolve this at club level, but now Fifa will have to come in."


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