Dakar — There are fears Senegalese soccer star Sadio Mané might miss the soccer World Cup 2022 in Qatar. The tournament begins in less than two weeks.
Bayern Munich’s Senegalese international left the pitch in Tuesday’s game against Werder Bremen in the 20th minute with a right knee injury as they played the 14th game of the season. He lay on the lawn for a few minutes, before giving way to his teammate Leroy Sané.
Local and international media expressed dismay over the situation and this could also be felt in the streets of Senegal.
Abdoulaye Thiam, president of the Association of the national sports press, has however adopted a cautious approach: “We are waiting for the official press release from Bayern Munich. “Even if his club forfeits him for the world, Senegal has the possibility of seeking a second opinion before making a final decision.”
In the event of a withdrawal, Senegal football boss Augustin Senghor the club “will send us the player’s medical file and it’s on this basis that we will take an official position”.
MSenghor said these kinds of situations are predictable in high-level sport, before acknowledging that “osing a player like Sadio is a blow especially since it is the remarkable identity of the team. Someone like Sadio we cannot replace him but just compensate for his absence. But we have a collective that we have to rely on to have a good performance at the World Cup.”
This blow comes two days before the official publication of the final list that Senegal should present for the 2022 World Cup. According to Bayern’s medical staff, Sadio is suffering from a tendon injury and should miss several weeks of competition. If confirmed, Senegal will be deprived of its 30-year-old star who came 2nd in the last Ballon d’Or and won the African Cup of Nations in January with the Teranga Lions.
At the 2022 World Cup, Senegal is in Group A along with Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands.
Translated to English by allafrica’s Michael Tantoh