Liverpool star, Sadio Mane will miss Senegal’s opening match at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt through suspension.
The 27-year-old forward’s unavailability for the Group C fixture against Tanzania on June 23 is due to yellow card accumulation from the Teranga Lions’ qualifiers.
“His absence should not in any way bother us,” head coach Aliou Cisse told Senegalese media just before they departed their training camp in Alicante in Spain for Egypt.
“Certainly the presence of Sadio is beneficial but without him we remain strong.
“The Caf [Confederation of African Football] has decided, so we will not linger,” Cisse added.
Mane was booked in Senegal’s 1-0 win away to Equatorial Guinea on November 17, 2018 and also appears to have been cautioned in their 2-0 victory over Madagascar on March 23, 2019, although it is not confirmed on Caf’s match statistics. Caf has been contacted for verification.
The tournament in Egypt, scheduled for June 21 to July 19, will be Mane’s third Nations Cup finals and the second time he will miss Senegal’s opening match.
He missed the Teranga Lions’ opener in the 2015 finals in Equatorial Guinea against Ghana because he was still recovering from a calf injury he sustained while playing for his former club Southampton.
Mane, who won the Uefa Champions League with Liverpool earlier this month, joined the Terranga Lions training camp in Spain on Thursday before he and his team-mates departed for Egypt on Friday.
He is expected to play Senegal’s other group matches in Cairo against Algeria on June 27 and Kenya four days later.