Football: Europe v Africa match makes history
Wednesday 29 January 1997
The African All-Stars 18-man squad, selected by Rabah Madjer of Algeria and Mawade Wade of Senegal, includes four of Nigeria's Olympic gold-medal winning squad and two of South Africa's African championship winning squad.
Benfica have players in both squads, with Portugal's Joao Pinto in the European camp and Paulo Antonio, of Angola, in the African.
Most of the African squad play in Europe, and the match, being staged as part of the European Community's "European Year Against Racism", is also part of a wider plan to build better football ties between the two continents.
Uefa, European football's ruling body, and CAF, its African counterpart, will also be holding their first joint-executive meeting in Lisbon and, according to a Uefa spokesman, the whole initiative "will mark a new era in the relationship between the African Football Confederation and Uefa."
A Uefa spokesman, Graham Turner, also said yesterday that the venue of Benfica's impressive Stadium of Light was a deliberate choice serving to recognise the enormous contribution that Benfica's greatest player, Eusebio, had made to European football.
Eusebio was born in Mozambique, but his arrival at Benfica in the early 1960s heralded the club's most successful era. The team went on to win the European Cup in both 1961 and 1962. "There is no better link between Europe and Africa than Eusebio," he added.
Michels and Wade yesterday told a joint news conference in Lisbon that they would use all their players during the game. "Everybody must participate as much as possible," Michels said.
Because the intention is to give everybody a game, both teams will be allowed two re-substitutions - the sending back on of a player previously substituted - in the event of second-half injuries.
While many of the world's top players are involved, there are no English players in the European squad as the Premier League has a full programme of matches tonight. No players with eastern European clubs are involved either, because of their winter break.
On Friday, as a continuing part of the anti-racism initiative, the under- 17 Meridian Cup, which comprises four nations from each continent, gets under way.
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer latest: Arsene Wenger set to sign...no one on transfer deadline day as manager heads to Rome to referee charity match
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United: Striker hasn't played in Champions League since 2010
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...