Football briefs: Abidal hospitalised for examinations | Cape Verde denied first cup victory | Merseyside star Payne dies aged 86

BARCELONA defender Eric Abidal has been admitted to hospital to undergo medical examinations following his liver transplant.

The 33-year-old received a transplant in April, with his cousin Gerard providing the donation, as a result of unresolved issues that emerged from previous surgery to remove a tumour in March 2011.

A statement on Barca’s official website read: “Eric Abidal will spend between three to four days at Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic for examinations of the development of the transplant that he underwent last April.”

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He returned to full training in October but has yet to return to Barcelona’s first team.

Cape Verde denied first cup victory

Cape Verde Islands came within minutes of their greatest sporting success before being held to a 1-1 draw by Morocco in Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The tiny island nation, making their tournament debut, scored their first goal in finals after 36 minutes when Luis Soares, who plays under the name Platini, acrobatically chipped the ball over Moroccan goalkeeper Nadir Lamyaghri.

Morocco equalised after 78 minutes through Youssef El Arabi.

Earlier, South Africa defeated Angola 2-0 with goals by Siyabonga Sangweni and Lehlohonolo Majoro, leaving the hosts top of the group with four points from two matches.

Merseyside star Payne dies aged 86 |

Former Liverpool and Everton winger Jimmy Payne has died at the age of 86.

The boyhood Everton fan joined Liverpool as a teenager and made his debut in 1948 before going on to play in another 242 games for the Reds, scoring 43 goals.

Dubbed the “Merseyside Matthews” in reference to legendary England and Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews, Payne was the only surviving member of the Liverpool side that reached the 1950 FA Cup final, the club’s first Wembley appearance.

In 1956 Payne crossed Stanley Park to sign for Everton but only made a handful of appearances because of injury.