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Liverpool Drops El Hadji Diouf From Line-Up For Key UEFA Match - 2003-03-18


The English soccer club Liverpool has dropped the reigning African Footballer of the Year, El Hadji Diouf, for its UEFA Cup, second leg quarterfinal Thursday against Celtic after the Senegalese star spat at fans in Glasgow last week.

Diouf was fined two weeks wages and faces further UEFA punishment after television cameras clearly showed him spitting at Celtic fans last Thursday.

Liverpool's manager, Gerard Houllier, says he and the club are waiting to see what disciplinary measures UEFA takes against Diouf.

UEFA has requested a copy of the match video from last week's one-all draw between Liverpool and Celtic. UEFA is expected to announce the results of its investigation of the Senegalese player this week. If found guilty, El Hadji Diouf could receive a four-match European suspension.

The Senegalese World Cup hero is bidding for his second consecutive African Footballer of the Year award. The African Football Confederation, CAF, will hold its annual awards ceremony on April 1 in Johannesburg. Diouf's Senegalese teammate, Pape Bouba Diop, and Egyptian player Ahmed "Mido" Hossam, are the two other candidates for the 2002 African Footballer of the Year prize.

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