Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse has confirmed that Liverpool forward Sadio Mane will not feature in the nation’s opening match at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
Mane will miss the match against Tanzania on Sunday 23 June in Cairo after picking up two yellow cards in Senegal’s Nations Cup qualifiers.
Quoted on BBC, Cisse said, “His absence should not in any way bother us, 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.
The yellow card that resulted in Mane’s suspension came in Senegal’s 1-0 win away to Equatorial Guinea last year November. He had earlier on been cautioned 2-0 victory over Madagascar on Saturday 23 Match.
This will be Mane’s third appearance at AFCON finals and for the second time missing Senegal’s opening match, after missing the opener in the 2015 finals in Equatorial Guinea against Ghana due to a calf injury he had sustained while playing for his former club, Southampton.
He will however play in Senegal’s other group matches in Cairo against Algeria on Thursday 27 June then Kenya four days later.