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Angola to appeal Yamba Asha suspension

CAIRO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Angola are to appeal to FIFA for a reduction in the nine-month ban handed to defender Yamba Asha earlier this week.

The left-back was banned, backdated from November, for a drugs offence by world football's governing body on Monday and cannot play again until August.

Coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves said Angola respected the decision but would ask FIFA to reduce the ban in order to allow the player to compete at the World Cup finals in Germany.

Yamba Asha, who was the only player to compete in all matches of Angola's successful World Cup qualifying campaign, has already missed out on the African Nations Cup finals because of the ban.

'We know FIFA has its rules and regulations and we abide by them but it is a tough ban.

'He is a person whose life is football, who earns his living from football and we hope they will understand this,' the coach told Reuters on Wednesday after his side's 0-0 draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

FIFA did not give any details of the drug offence when announcing the ban on Monday. Angolan officials said Yamba Asha had taken a flu remedy which contained a banned substance.

Olivier Goncalves said Angola faced going to the World Cup without two key players - Yamba Asha and Gilberto, who had an operation on an Achilles tendon injury in Germany this week.

'It's a big blow for a country like ours to lose these players for Germany,' he added.