12/01/2022
Two-time African Footballer of the Year Sadio Mane has been ruled out of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup with a fibula injury, the Senegalese Football Federation confirmed.

Mane sustained the leg issue while playing in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga though he was deemed fit enough to be included in Aliou Cisse’s 26-man squad.

Earlier, It was announced that Mane would not play any part in Senegal’s opening matches, Cisse’s side saying they “will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio”.

But the latest update confirms Mane’s injury will need surgery, thus ruling him out of the entire tournament in Qatar.

A short statement from the Senegalese Football Federation read: “The FSF wishes a speedy recovery to its player Sadio Mane.”

It comes as a huge blow for both Mane and Senegal after he played an instrumental part in their Africa Cup of Nations triumph, scoring the winning penalty in the final against Egypt in February.

Senegal face Netherlands in their Group A opener on Monday (November 22) before meeting Qatar and Ecuador, though they will have to attempt to reach the knockout stages without their star attacker.

Two decades after Korea-Japan 2002, when Bruno Metsu’s side shocked the football world by advancing to the quarterfinals, Senegal will travel to Qatar 2022 with a new status – that of continental champions – an achievement that has done wonders for their confidence.

Senegal would doubtless prefer to avoid a repeat of their Russia 2018 campaign in Qatar 2022.

The Lions of Teranga created an undesirable piece of history by becoming the first-ever nation to be eliminated from a FIFA World Cup group stage via their fair-play record, with Cisse’s charges finishing level with Japan on four points, but collecting two more yellow cards.

Cisse, who captained Senegal at Korea-Japan 2002 in their first-ever FIFA World Cup campaign is leading his nation into a second global tournament as a manager at Qatar 2022.

Cisse would have been relying on the talented Mane, one of the world’s most devastating attacking players, to spark Senegal into a better performance than their Russia 2018 campaign and progress from the Group Stage, but at Qatar 2022, that has been ruled out now after the announcement of the Bayern forward’s fibula injury.

(With inputs from Agencies)