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Date: 17 October 2017

  Southern African - Soccer

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Fifa clears Rafael to play for Angola at AFCON

[Posted 25 Jan 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Fifa clears Rafael to play for Angola at AFCON

Angola's Palancas Negras' have received a shot in the arm when world soccer governing body FIFA announced on Wednesday that the former Germany Under 21 international Nando Rafael's nationality swap request done by the Angola FA has sailed through  and the player is now free to play for Angola.

The Fifa decision means that Rafael is now free to turn out for Angola at the on-going Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Rafael missed Angola's Group B opening fixture against Burkina Faso which the Southern Africans won 2-1.

Angola's FA, according to a Fifa statement, only applied for the switch a day before the tournament kicked off (last week Friday), despite having included Rafael in their tournament squad days before the tournament kicked off.

The German Football Federation dispatched to Fifa the requisite documentation to allow finalisation of the switch on time.

Fifa met on Tuesday and approved the Angola FA's request.

28 year-old Rafael, who turns out for Augsburg FC in the Germany Bundesliga, is now in line for a place in the squad to face Sudan in Angola's next game.

Many supporters of the Palancas Negras', especially those from Southern Africa, will relish the strike-combination of Manucho and Rafael in Angola's forthcoming matches.

Teams from the COSAFA region have done fairly well thus far, with Zambia beating Senegal 2-1 in a result that sent shock waves through out the tournament and continent, and then Angola beating Burkina Faso a day later with the same scoreline.

Both Chiplopolo and Angola have put one foot into the quarter-finals. Two draws or one victory will be enough to see them book a place in the last 8.

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