Sadio Mane will miss Senegal’s first games of the FIFA World Cup due to injury, a Senegalese Football Federation official revealed on Tuesday.
The Bayern Munich forward’s place at Qatar 2022 looked to be in jeopardy after he suffered a fibula injury this month, but he was included in Aliou Cisse’s 26-man squad.
However, Mane will not feature in Senegal’s clash against the Netherlands next Monday and Senegalese Football Federation board member Abdoulaye Sow revealed that will not be the only Group A match he will miss.
Senegal will face hosts Qatar next Thursday before taking on Ecuador in their final group match on 29 November.
Sow stated: “Senegal will have to cope without its best player for the start of the tournament and not whine too much.
“We will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio and win without Sadio because we have 25 players apart from Sadio.
“No one would have wanted it, but that’s what’s happened to us.”
Mane starred as Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations this year and he has made an impressive start to his Bayern career following his move from Liverpool.
The 30-year-old’s injury will prevent his from coming up against his former Reds team mate Virgil van Dijk next week, who has sympathy for a friend in the same position he was in for EURO 2020.
“I was feeling sad for him, first and foremost,” van Dijk told reporters. “I’m not happy in this case as I’ve been in that situation where I missed the Euros.
“We as players work so hard to get to this stage, and he has been such an important figure in that group for their country.
“I know for a fact that he will put a brave face on it, but it’s tough and I feel sorry for him.”
Senegal begin their campaign without Sadio Mane when they play Netherlands on 21 November.
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