Senegal Coach Aliou Cisse Defends Decision to Include Injured Trio in AFCON Squad

Senegal Coach Aliou Cisse Defends Decision to Include Injured Trio in AFCON Squad

Lukman Mumuni
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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Senegal
Senegal
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Aliou Cissé logo
A. Cissé
Al-Adalah logoMSenegal logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
CAF AFCON
Africa
Sadio Mané logo
S. Mané
Al Nassr FC logoFSenegal logo
Idrissa Gueye logo
I. Gueye
Everton logoMSenegal logo
Nampalys Mendy logo
N. Mendy
-MSenegal logo
Boulaye Dia logo
B. Dia
Salernitana logoFSenegal logo
  • Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has named his AFCON squad
  • Three players on the list are yet to recover from injury
  • Senegal begins the defence of their title against Gambia

Aliou Cisse has backed his decision to include three injured players in his squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next month.

The former Teranga Lions captain announced his 27-man squad for the tournament on Friday, including Saudi-based stars Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy.

The defending champions travel to Ivory Coast with the hopes of retaining the title they won for the first time in Cameroon last year.

Nampalys Mendy, Idrissa Gueye, Boulaye Dia, Senegal
Nampalys Mendy, Boulaye Dia, and Idrissa Gueye in actions for their clubs. Credit: @RCLens @OfficialUSS1919 @Everton
Source: Twitter

However, their preparations has been hindered by injuries to key players.

Everton's Idrissa Gueye and Boulaye Dia picked up knocks in their league games for Everton and Salernitana respectively. Dia has been ruled out for up to five weeks while Gueye's return is unclear.

Meanwhile, Nampalys Mendy is yet to recover from an injury he suffered during the UEFA Champions League game between RC Lens and Sevilla.

"For Boulaye, if I took him it’s because I’m sure he will be ready for the first match against Gambia. I do not worry," said Cisse during a presser announcing his squad.
"I also have hope and I am optimistic for Gana Gueye. Gana will be able to return before our first match against Gambia on January 15. Nampalys has already started the race too, he can come back. I have no doubt.
"As for Sabaly, he resumed the race too. These players gave me their word and I trust them. They never lied to me.”

Senegal begins the defence of their title with a game against the Gambia.

The West African giants have been drawn in Group C alongside five-time champions Cameroon, the Gambia and Guinea, as reported by Soccer Laduma.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse names AFCON squad

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Reigning African champions Senegal have named their final squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Veterans Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly headline Aliou Cisse's squad that will be on the plane to Cote d'Ivoire next month.

The Lions of Teranga will be looking to defend the crown they won last in 2022, and much of the squad that lifted that title have made the squad.

Authors
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Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.