Football: Arendse on way home

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THE SOUTH African reserve goalkeeper, Andre Arendse of Fulham, has been ruled out of the World Cup finals with a twisted knee. He is being replaced by the uncapped Paul Evans, who was once on the books of Leeds United.

The injury marks the end of a bad season for Arendse. He played in all of South Africa's qualifying matches, but lost his place in the starting line-up last December. He has also dropped out of the reckoning at his club following some unconvincing displays in the Second Division.

Nigeria have called up the defender Mobi Oparaku, from the Belgian Second Division side Kapellen, to replace Jero Shakpoke, who was sent home with a broken collar bone on Tuesday. Yesterday was the last opportunity for finalists to replace injured players in their squads.

Nigeria, who play Spain in their first match on Saturday in Nantes, have two other worries. The striker Daniel Amokachi and the midfielder Nwankwo Kanu did not take part in training yesterday. But both should resume training today and could be fit for the match. Amokachi hurt a knee in practice on Tuesday and Kanu has a stomach upset.

Yugoslavia's striker Dejan Savicevic is doubtful for his team's opening game with Iran on Sunday. The Milan player, who has had an injury-plagued season, is suffering from a knee injury and could only do light training yesterday.

The Belgian defender Gordan Vidovic suffered a groin strain in training yesterday and is doubtful for Saturday's opening game against the Netherlands.

The Yugoslav-born Vidovic walked off after one hour of practice. "I'm a bit worried," he said. "I'll see tomorrow, but now I feel pain. I worked so hard for this moment and now I may be out for Saturday." Belgium's top two strikers, Luc Nilis and Luis Oliveira, are expected to recover from minor injuries.