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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 05:40 GMT 06:40 UK
Kanu out of England clash
Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu (left)
Kanu has lost his fitness battle
Group F | Osaka
Wed 12 June | 0730 BST
Live on BBC1 & Radio Five Live

Nigeria striker Nwankwo Kanu has been ruled out his country's final group match against England on Wednesday.

The Arsenal forward limped out of a training session with a recurrence of the ankle problem that has blighted his World Cup.

"I know most of the England players so I'd like to play but I'm not going to be on the pitch - I can't take that risk," Kanu told the Evening Standard.

"I was injured after 10 minutes against Argentina and then I came on as a substitute against Sweden and I shouldn't have played then."

Coach Adegboye Onigbinde confirmed that Kanu had offered to sacrifice himself if needed.

"He is willing to play, but I beleive it is in his best interests to have a rest," he said.

Nigeria are already out of the World Cup following defeats in their first two matches against Argentina and Sweden.

But Kanu gave assurance that they will be playing for pride and doing all they can to prevent England securing the draw they need to progress to the last 16.

"For the people back home there would be a lot of satisfaction in knocking England out," he said.


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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