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Many Teams Feeling the Absence of African Stars

posted by – Februrary 4th, 2012

LONDON —  With a minute’s silence for more than 70 fans killed at a stadium in Port Said, Egypt, African soccer paid brief respect to the champion of the past three African Cup of Nations tournaments and gets on with the quarterfinals of this one.

Ivory Coast, favored to win it, plays one host, Equatorial Guinea, on Saturday. The other host, Gabon, meets Mali on Sunday, when Ghana meets Tunisia.

European clubs, meanwhile, wait impatiently for their African stars to return to the deep freeze and snow that threaten to call off games in northern Italy and elsewhere.


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