‘We are hoping for miracles. He HAS to be there’: Senegal will use WITCH DOCTORS to get injured Sadio Mane to the World Cup – claims FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura – with the forward set to be included despite picking up an injury
- Sadio Mane was feared to be ruled out of Senegal’s World Cup campaign
- The Bayern star limped out of his side’s win over Bremen after just 20 minutes
- Ex-Liverpool man is said to have suffered a tendon issue and faced weeks out
- But Senegal are planning to include him in their 26-man group to fly to Qatar
- The country will reportedly use witch doctors to speed up the player’s recovery
Senegal will incredibly use witch doctors to cure Sadio Mane’s injury in a bid to race him to the World Cup in Qatar, according to FIFA’s Senegalese secretary general.
Mane is set to be included in Senegal’s squad for the World Cup despite suffering a leg injury this week, a source within the country’s football federation told AFP on Thursday – with fears he would initially miss the tournament.
But now Fatma Samoura, the No.2 at world football’s governing body, has said the country will go to extreme methods to ensure he is present, admitting they are not even sure if the unorthodox technique will work but that they are hoping for ‘miracles’.
‘We are going to use witch doctors,’ she told Europe 1. ‘I don’t know (if they’re effective) but in this instance, we’re going to use them anyway. We are hoping for miracles. He has to be there!’
A source had told AFP that the ex-Liverpool man would be included despite hobbling out of Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen this week.
‘One thing is certain, Sadio Mane will be on the list tomorrow,’ the source said, with coach Aliou Cisse set to announce his squad on Friday.
Mane, who finished second in this year’s Ballon d’Or voting behind Karim Benzema, was taken off just 20 minutes on Tuesday – leading to huge fears about his fitness for Qatar less than two weeks before the tournament begins.
Senegal will use witch doctors on Sadio Mane to ensure he is fit in time for the World Cup, according to Senegalese FIFA secretary Fatma Samoura (R)
Mane limped out of Bayern’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen with fears his hopes were over
He was diagnosed with an injury to his right fibula. Bayern said he would undergo further tests in the coming days.
According to the source, Mane ‘remains calm, he’s professional, he knows that injury is part of the job.’
He has been ruled out of Bayern’s final game before the World Cup against Schalke on Saturday.
The Senegal team doctor, Manuel Afonso, has flown to Munich to assess the extent of Mane’s injury.
But Senegal hope their talisman will be fit in time for their opening game of the tournament on November 21 against the Netherlands. Their official squad will be announced on Friday morning.
Senegal feared they had been dealt a massive blow that they would be without their talisman
SADIO MANE FOR SENEGAL
Africa Cup of Nations – 2021
Runners up – 2019
The Lions of Teranga will also take on hosts Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.
Mane, the two-time African player of the year, is pivotal to the African champions’ hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.
Senegal President Macky Sall on Wednesday tweeted: ‘Sadio, I wish you a speedy recovery.’
‘Sadio, heart of a Lion! All my heart is with you!’ he added.
Augustin Senghor, president of the Senegalese football federation, told AFP he was ‘worried’.
‘We cross our fingers, we have been worried since we received the news.’
His Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann said the player would have an X-ray to determine the extent of the injury after initially saying he had taken a blow to his tibia – and that he was hopeful it was ‘not a big injury’.
‘He took a knock to the head of his tibia,’ he said. ‘It’s always uncomfortable. He has to have an X-ray. I hope nothing is wrong.
‘I didn’t see him after the game, I hope it’s not a big injury. But I don’t know at the moment’, the Bayern boss continued. ‘We’ll see tomorrow and then give an update.’
Bayern released a statement on Mane on Tuesday – stopping short of ruling him out of the World Cup and saying he would have ‘further tests’, but they did say he would miss their next game against Schalke on Saturday.
‘Sadio Mane sustained an injury to his right fibula,’ the club said. ‘He’s out of the game against Schalke this Saturday.
Mane – who joined Bayern from Liverpool for £35m in the summer – has been in excellent form
‘Further tests will follow in the next few days. FC Bayern is in contact with the medical staff of the Senegalese Football Association.’
Just 15 minutes into their encounter with Werder Bremen the 30-year-old went doing holding his right leg and signalled for Bayern’s medical team to come onto the pitch.
It’s clear that Nagelsmann didn’t want to risk furthering Mane’s injury and withdrew the Senegal star for former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
If Mane did miss out on the World Cup, his absence would be felt massively in the Senegal camp – the man who has picked up 93 caps for his country and scored 34 times.
He was instrumental for the team on their way to winning this year’s Africa Cup of Nations as they beat Egypt on penalties in the final – having scored four goals during the tournament.
Mane – who joined Bayern from Liverpool for £35million in the summer – has been excelling for his club during his first season in Germany.
He was taken off against Werder Bremen just 20 mins in, leading to huge fears about his fitness
He’s scored 11 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions, laying on four assists.
Mane’s injury news comes amid increasing concern about players picking up injuries in the build up to Qatar that will rule them out of the competition – despite only picking up minor problems.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher – who implored Mane to stay at Anfield in the summer – has been one of the leading voices against the World Cup being staged in the winter amid fears players could easily miss out on taking part.
France have already received a double blow with Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba set to miss out, while Diogo Jota will miss the World Cup for Portugal.
‘I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the World Cup is in the position it’s in, for lots of reasons,’ Carragher said on CBS Sports.
‘It was corrupt that Qatar were given the World Cup, we knew that at the time.
Mane was crucial to Senegal winning the Africa Cup of Nations back in February
‘They campaigned on having it in the summer, it is impossible there to have a World Cup in the summer with the temperature, it gets moved to the situation where it is now in the middle of the season.
‘Players who spend their whole lives dreaming of playing in a World Cup and now could be [out injured] – as we’ve seen with Son and players all around the world.
‘Varane was crying coming off the pitch at Stamford Bridge. That’s how close we are to a World Cup.
‘An injury, a 10-day or two-week injury, is going to keep players out of a World Cup and it should not be happening.
‘And it all started with FIFA giving Qatar the World Cup and then moving it. I think it’s absolutely disgusting.’
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