International Rescue

By Keith Allman
Last updated : 09 November 2005

As you may well know, this January sees the return of the African Cup of Nations. I'm sure we all have fond memories of the last one, not least for Yakubu getting sent home after a week for failing to obey a curfew. The naughty boy. Although our African contigent isn't as large as it was - at one point our squad had more African players than any other Premeirship side - there's still a few of the squad who would've been watching today's draw with some interest.

As captain of DR Congo, LuaLua won't be too disappointed with his group; up against Angola and Togo, although also having to come face to face with one of the better known sides in the competition, Cameroon. It's also not out of the question that Vincent Pericard could be called up by Cameroon, who may include Valery Mezague in their squad. If they're really desperate. Or just want to laugh at his short Vignal-esque socks.

Collins shouldn't be away for too long, as his Zambian side have been stuck into the group of death. Guinea, South Africa and the defending champions Tunisia make up Group C - I wouldn't book a hotel beyond the first week if I were you lads.

Finally, there could be a bit of a big Pompey/ex-Pompey post-game last up in Group D with Senegal set to play Nigeria; Aliou Cissé and Salif Diao play for the former, as do Dio Kamara and Amdy Faye, whilst more than likely Yakubu will be putting in an appearance for the latter.

My personal hope is that they all get knocked out as quickly as possible or all suddenly announce their international retirement, especially as it's around the time of year when we're going to need as many players as possible to make up for a lot of games and the inevitable injuries and suspensions.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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