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China Opts Local Players for Asian Cup Qualifier
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China has named an under-strength squad for its last 2007 Asian Cup qualifying match against Iraq as all Europe-based players and ace defender Li Weifeng were dropped.

Energie Cottbus midfielder Shao Jiayi, Royal Antwerp striker Dong Fangzhuo and Manchester City defender Sun Jihai are among the notable absentees from the 26-man roster announced by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) late on Tuesday.

Li Weifeng, the defensive backbone of the 2004 Asian Cup runner-up, will also have to miss the Nov. 15 game in Changsha, the capital of central China's Hunan province, as he is serving a ban which rules him out of national duty until the end of this year.

The Chinese team will gather in a national training base in Guangdong province from Nov. 4-16, said the CFA.

Both China and Iraq have already qualified for the 2007 Asian Cup finals, to be co-hosted by Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.


Goalkeepers: Li Leilei, Zhang Lu, Yang Zhi;

Defenders: Ji Mingyi, Zhang Yaokun, Xu Liang, Xu Yunlong, Sun Xiang, Wu Wei'an, Feng Xiaoting, Zhao Jialin;

Midfielders: Zheng Zhi, Zhou Haibin, Zhao Xuri, Zhao Junzhe, Cao Yang, Jiang Kun, Wang Dong, Chen Tao, Du Zhenyu, Zheng Bin;

Forwards: Li Jinyu, Han Peng, Mao Jianqing, Gao Lin, Zhu Ting.

(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2006)

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