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Ousted Zahovic to play again for Slovenia squad

© Reuters Limited

Zlatko Zahovic.
Photo Sergio Perez, Reuters
Benfica midfielder Zlatko Zahovic could play again for Slovenia despite his early departure during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™ over a dispute with then coach Srecko Katanec, Slovenia's football association (FA) said on Tuesday.

"Zahovic has not given up playing for the national squad and wishes to be a member in future," Slovenia FA's president Rudi Zavrl said in a statement.

Photo Desmond Boylan, Reuters
It added that Zavrl and newly appointed Slovenia coach Bojan Prasnika had met Zahovic at his request on Sunday to discuss the events that led to his expulsion from the squad after the first FIFA World Cup™ match against Spain.

The statement said it was now up to the coach to decide when and if Zlatko Zahovic would appear for Slovenia again.

Next week Prasnikar is expected to name the squad for the friendly against Italy on August 21, Slovenia's only warm-up before the 2004 European Championship qualifier against Malta, scheduled for September 7.

Slovenia's debut at the FIFA World Cup™ ended after three defeats and with Katanec's resignation. The tiny Alpine state's squad is now preparing for its European Championship qualifying campaign in group one against France, Malta, Israel and Cyprus.

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