Giggs and Veron to meet in Cardiff

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The Independent Online

Ryan Giggs will play against his Manchester United team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron next week when Wales entertain Argentina in a World Cup warm-up match.

The game is part of the Argentinians' preparation for playing England, whom they meet in Sapporo in their second group match on 7 June in the city's indoor stadium, at this summer's World Cup finals.

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder Andy Johnson has been recalled by Wales. The Argentinians, among the favourites for the World Cup, are sure to call up Veron and may summon Rangers' veteran striker Claudio Caniggia for the first time in five years.

The staff of the FA of Wales have organised the match in four frantic days. Wales spent several months trying to tempt Argentina to the Principality, sending faxes, e-mails and internet pictures showing the closed roof of the stadium.

They even played the Patagonia card. The Argentinian province was the home in the 18th century of Welsh emigrants, and the Welsh language is still spoken there. But not even that interested the Argentinians, until a friendly against Costa Rica collapsed. Wales, Norway and Turkey were faxed at the same time in a search for new opponents, and then someone in Buenos Aires remembered the roof in Cardiff.

Tickets go on sale today from the stadium and the city's Ticketline offices, priced at between £5 and £15.

Norway are angry about losing their fixture against Argentina. "We had a written agreement with Argentina, and it is neither common nor should it be possible to pull out of such an agreement," Roger Solheim, a spokesman for the Norwegian Football Association, said. The Argentinians may now visit Oslo on 27 March if they cannot arrange a game against an African nation.

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