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Date: 24 July 2017

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Mali ignores Keita for Zim match

[Posted 19 Mar 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Seydou Keita has been left out of the Mali squad to face Zim in an AFCON tie on 26 March

In a surprise move which will set the tongues wagging in case of a shock result at home, Mali coach Alain Giresse has decided to overlook a player with the highest profile, Seydou Keita for the crucial African Nations Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe on 26 March.

The Barcelona star midfielder had taken a sabbatical from international football, just like many African stars such as Dideir Drogba and Michael Essien have done in the recent past.

However, the star midfielder who last appeared for the Carthage Eagles at the 2010 Nations Cup finals in Angola, recently indicated that he was ready to come out of his sabbatical and serve his country of birth again.

The France-born Mali coach Giresse, however decided to delay Keita's return until after a one-on-one meeting with the player, and the coach intends to do this only after the 26th March match.

"After the match (on 26 March), I will go to Barcelona to go even further in talks with the player," the Mali coach told the BBC Sport on Thursday.

"We will know after that meeting if there is any progress," Giresse added.

Mali currently lie 2nd in Group A of the 2012 qualifiers with three points, second from pacesetters Cape Verde who sit aloft with 4 points, while Zimbabwe are breathing heavily against Mali with 2 points from two matches.

Three of Mali's key personnel were named in the squad. These include former Real Madrid midfield kingpin Mahamadou Diarra, and key strikers Modibo Maiga and Garra Dembele who ply their trade in France and Bulgaria's top flight leagues respectively.

Here is the Mali squad for the match against a Zimbabwe side, desperate to put its campaign to qualify for the 2012 AFCON finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, back on track after two successive draws.

Goalkeepers: Oumar Sissoko (FC Metz, France), Soumaïla Diakite (Stade Malien), Almamy Sogoba (AS Real)

Defenders: Adama Tamboura (FC Metz), Drissa Diakite (OBC Nice, France), Idrissa Coulibaly (Al Ahly Tripoli, Libya), Cédric Kante (Panathinaïkos, Greece), Mohamed Fofana (Toulouse, France), Kalifa Cisse (Bristol City, England), Ousmane Berthe (Jomo Cosmos, South Africa)

Midfielders: Mahamadou Diarra (Monaco, France), Kalilou Traore (OB Odense, Denmark), Abdou Traore (Nice, France), Souleymane Keita (Sivasspor, Turkey), Sigamady Diarra (FC Lorient, France), Samba Sow (RC Lens, France), Ismaël Keita (FC Nantes, France), El Hadj Mahamane Traore (FC Metz)

Forwards: Sambou Yatabare (Caen, France), Modibo Maiga (FC Sochaux, France), Garra Dembele (Levski Sofia, Bulgaria), Cheick Tidiani Diabate (Bordeaux, France), Tènèma N'Diaye (FC Metz).

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