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Soccer:  World Cup Preparation Continues - 2002-04-30


South Africa's football coach has named a preliminary squad for this year's World Cup in South Korea and Japan, and English League star Lucas Radebe has to pass a fitness test to be assured of a place.

Radebe, the former national team captain, has been recovering from a knee injury and last played for South Africa 15 months ago. He is to undergo a fitness test Friday.

Meanwhile, South African coach Jomo Sono included Charlton Athletic defender Mark Fish and his teammate Shaun Bartlett, both of whom have been battling injuries this season. Fish has also recently resolved a lengthy contract dispute with the South African Football Association.

There were some surprises on the squad, including Kaizer Chiefs' goalkeeper Brian Bayoli and striker George Komentarakis, who last played for South Africa two years ago.

The Bafana Bafana will train in Durban, South Africa and host Madagascar there May 12. South Africa is in the same first round group as Spain, Slovenia and Paraguay.

World Cup co-host South Korea has released its roster for this year's football (soccer) tournament, with Dutch-born coach Guus Hiddink mixing youth and experience.

The lineup includes defensive player Hong Myung-Bo, the national captain who has played more than 120 international matches. Also on the squad is 33-year-old Hwang Sun-Hong, who will play in his fourth World Cup.

Among the newcomers to the team are Andrelecht striker Seol Ki-Hyeon and Cha Doo-Ri. The average age of the team is 26 years and 14 of the players will be making their first appearance in the World Cup.

South Korea has friendlies next month against Scotland, England, and France. The co-hosts open the tournament June fourth against Poland. Also in their group are the United States and Portugal. South Korea has played in six World Cup tournaments, but has not won a single match.

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