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Japan will play Togo in next month’s home friendly instead of Ivory Coast as announced previously, Japan Football Association President Saburo Kawabuchi said Monday.

Kawabuchi said the change was made after Ivory Coast soccer officials told the JFA recently that they planned to be without striker Didier Drogba and some other key players in the Nov. 16 match at National Stadium in Tokyo.

Drogba is scheduled to attend an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of his English Premier League club Chelsea on Nov. 15.

Kawabuchi said Togo, which like Ivory Coast has qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time, pledged to send a full-strength side to the friendly.

Fan in stable condition

TERAMO, Italy (AP) A female soccer fan hit by a missile thrown by opposing supporters was in stable condition Monday.

Ambretta Piergiovanni was hit in the head by the object Sunday in the closing minutes of Ascoli’s 2-1 win over Sampdoria.

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