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How much will Everton miss Pienaar?

Everton’s South African success story Steven Pienaar hasn’t been given dispensation by South Africa to play in the Toffee’s Carling Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Tuesday. Everton had previously been boosted by the news that their Nigerian duo Yakubu and Yobo would be allowed to feature in the game but the absence of Pienaar, such an effervescent player this season will hurt Everton’s midfield.
South African FA communication director Morio Sanyane said:

“Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira wanted to help out domestic clubs but realised that if he allowed Pienaar to stay he would have to let the other players attend late as well,” said Sanyane.

“This would not be in the best interest of the team.

“I’m sure Pienaar will be disappointed that he is missing out on this game, but the consolation is that he will have the opportunity to play against the greatest players in Africa.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but at the end of the day, your country must come first.

So how much of a blow will the loss of Pienaar be?

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