FOOTBALL AROUND THE WORLD

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The Independent Online
Africa

The European Union's "Year Against Racism" kicked off with an exhibition match on Wednesday in Lisbon's Stadium of Light, where a star-studded European representative side were beaten 2-1 by an n XI.

Yesterday the focus was on politics, as Uefa, European football's governing body, and its n counterpart, the Confederation of n Football, signed a friendship agreement which ended years of barely concealed hostility. The agreement obliges the the two confederations to "undertake extensive co-operation in all football-related matters as partners with equal rights".

Before the treaty was signed, a member of the CAF executive committee said: "It is no secret that there have been times when Europe has acted against 's interests and the ns have done the same to the Europeans. The time for that has passed and we are now set on building bridges rather than creating more divisions between ourselves."

The first impact of the treaty will be felt in Namibia and Chad, two of the poorest n nations. They will receive financial aid and sporting equipment plus technological aid like faxes and computers.

The CAF will receive all the proceeds from Wednesday's match, in which 's captain, Abedi Pele, gave his side an early lead. France's Vincent Guerin, set up by Jurgen Klinsmann, equalised just before half-time but Morocco's Mustapha Hadji scored an outstanding late winner.

Bosnia

Bosnian teams will not be allowed to compete in European competitions until the rival factions there agree which clubs represent the country, Uefa said yesterday.

There are currently three bodies in Bosnia - the Muslim League, the Croatian League and the Serb League - each organising their own league and cup championships. All three are affiliated to the Bosnia-Herzegovina Football Federation, which is recognised by Fifa - but Uefa is not prepared to admit three teams from each league into its three cups. "We are not prepared to deal with three football associations from one country," it said.

A Uefa source said one possible solution would a series of play-offs to establish a single Bosnian champion and one cup-winning team.

Rupert Metcalf

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