Rafael cleared to play for Angola

Former Germany Under-21 international striker Nando Rafael his been cleared to play for Angola at the Africa Cup of Nations, the team said Wednesday.

Team spokesman Joao Lusevikueno said Angola had received clearance from football's governing body FIFA to field the 28-year-old who plays for Bundesliga side Augsburg.

"Nando Rafael is allowed to represent the Angola Football Federation as from this date," said FIFA in a letter read by Lusevikueno.

The decision means that Rafael is available to face Sudan in Angola's Group B match on Thursday. Angola had applied for a nationality change last week.

Rafael was born in Angola but left for Europe at the age of eight. He spent his youth career with Dutch club Ajax and moved to Germany in 2002 to play for Hertha Berlin.

He joined Borussia Monchengladbach in 2006 and has also played for Danish club AGF.

Angola began their campaign with a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso on Sunday.