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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Knavs to miss final game
Slovenia fans have had little to cheer about
Slovenia fans have had little to cheer about

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Group B | Seogwipo
Wed 12 June | 1230 BST

Slovenia face their final match of the 2002 World Cup without key defender Aleksander Knavs, who will miss the game due to a leg injury.

"Knavs is out for sure," team doctor Vasja Kruh said on Monday.

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Some of the players have offered to travel in economy class just to get home as soon as possible
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The Kaiserslautern player, who was substituted on Saturday, will be replaced by Spasoje Bulajic in the starting lineup for the game against Paraguay on 12 June.

Bulajic also plays in the German Bundesliga and was relegated with Cologne from the first division last season.

The Slovenia doctor was able to announce the return of central defender Marinko Galic, who missed the South Africa match because of a thigh injury.

After all the pre-tournament excitement, the atmosphere in the Slovenia camp at their first World Cup finals is miserable.

Two defeats in Group B and the early departure of star player Zlatko Zahovic after a row with manager Srecko Katanec have seen to that.

The Slovenian newspapers are reporting from Seogwipo that the players want to return from Korea before Saturday's scheduled departure.

"Some of the players have even offered to travel in the economy class instead of business, just to get home as soon as possible," Delo daily reported.

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I was looking forward to the World Cup, Zlatko Zahovic is my friend - I feel bad about everything that has happened
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Miran Pavlin

"It looks very uncertain whether this team would be capable of ending this World Cup with a dignified performance in the match against Paraguay."

Midfielder Miran Pavlin summed up the mood: It's hard for me to talk about anything," he said.

"I've played for this team for the last ten years, I was looking forward to the World Cup. Zlatko Zahovic is my friend, I feel bad about everything that has happened."

Back home, the Slovenian public are furious about the unfortunate end of this football fairytale.

Some of the 1,000 fans who have travelled to Asia to see their team playing have even threatened the FA with legal action.

"I'll sue Zahovic, Katanec and the FA President Zavrl. We feel betrayed by everything that happened here," one desperate Slovenian supporter on Jeju island said.


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0




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