Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane has been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to injury after a series of back and forth.
In a news conference on Thursday, the Senegal national team broke the news to the shock of Senegalese fans, who had hoped the two-time African player of the year will have a shot at the tournament.
Manual Afonso, who is Senegal’s national team doctor, said Sadio Mane had undergone a scan on Thursday, November 17, to understand the evolution and determine whether or not he could keep his place at the World Cup.
Sadly, it was later confirmed he will not be able to make it and is ruled out of the tournament for a surgical intervention
The statement is coming as a shock after hopes he will be able to make it to the World Cup despite the injury.
Sadio Mane was named in Senegal’s World Cup squad despite the injury as the team thought he will recover soon to feature in the tournament.
Despite being included in the Senegal World Cup squad, he was expected to miss the first game between Senegal and Netherlands on November 20.
However, the latest development on the injury situation have confirmed that he will be ruled out of the entire tournament.
The former Premier League star picked up an ankle injury on November 7 in Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.
He had to limped off the game after just 20 minutes of play and was substituted. Bayer Munich later confirmed in a club statement that he will be ruled out of the club’s last Bundesliga game against Schalke before going into the World Cup break.
Despite the injury as announced by his club, Senegal still went ahead and included the former Liverpool forward in Senegal’s final 26-man squad, but confirmed that he will miss the first game against European giants Netherlands.
The inclusion of Sadio Mane in the squad points to his importance in the Senegal national team, given the quality his brings to bear.
Sadio Mane led Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations trophy. He was instrumental in the team’s World Cup qualifiers.
Mane won Africa best player of year after his exploits with the national team, and missing such a great talent in the World Cup is a major blow for the team in the tournament.
Senegal still have a chance to shop for a replacement for Mane in the Senegal squad. They are one of the strongest African contingent to the tournament.
The team was expected to replicate their Africa Cup of Nations success by doing all they can to go far in the competition.
Even though Sadio Mane will no longer be available, Senegal is still the top African side with highly-rated players in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have confirmed that Mane will return to the club for his rehabilitation, having undergone a successful surgery.
Senegal is in Group A of the World Cup and will face the Netherlands before playing host Qatar and Ecuador.