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Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Fan deserts Dundee
Fan Zhiyi tries to rally the China defence against Costa Rica
Fan Zhiyi played for China in the World Cup
China World Cup captain Fan Zhiyi has played his last game for Dundee.

The Asian footballer of the year refused to sign a contract before Saturday's transfer deadline.

He is now a free agent after failing to re-register with Dundee at the end of his loan spell at Shanghai Shenhua.

Fan, who could play in defence or attack, had only appeared 16 times for Dundee since arriving from Crystal Palace in November in a deal said to be worth 300,000.

A Dundee spokesman told the Daily Record: "The club have shown great patience with Fan, but unfortunately nothing has been signed.

"It is our belief that, even if he was to sign a contract now, he wouldn't be able to play again until January."

Fan Zhiyi (left) in action for Dundee
Fan Zhiyi helped build Chinese links
Fan had gone back to Shanghai Zhongyuan on loan to help his country's preparations for their first World Cup finals venture.

The 32-year-old was injured in China's opening defeat by Costa Rica and did not feature again in Korea and Japan.

Dundee had announced that Fan was being appointed official ambassador for themselves and his former club as they attempted to build on their new-found popularity in China.

But the defender insisted that there was a problem with his playing contract, despite being offered the same terms as he enjoyed before the World Cup.

He failed to turn up for a meeting last week with Dundee, who have now ended the payment of his wages.

Fan, who had already retired from international football, faces months out of the game unless he can find a club in England, where clubs are being allowed to sign players without clubs in controvention of the new transfer windows.

Meanwhile, midfielder Beto Carranza is now back in full training after recovering from the knee injury that has kept him out of the Dundee side since the opening pre-season game at Raith Rovers.

Zura Khizanishvilli is also said to be making good progress.

But the Georgian international defender is still a couple of weeks away from being considered for the first team after his nine months out with ruptured knee ligaments.

See also:

26 Jun 02 | China
17 May 02 | China
04 Mar 02 | Scotland
10 Oct 01 | Dundee
Links to more Dundee stories are at the foot of the page.


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