Injured forward Sadio Mane has been named in Senegal’s World Cup squad.
The West African country announced their official 26-man list on Friday morning for the Qatar tournament which begins later this month.
And Bayern Munich star Mane, 30, his country’s best player, is among the players travelling to the Middle East – the day after FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the country would use witch doctors to help him get to the competition.
Mane limped off after 20 minutes during a 6-1 Bundesliga win against Werder Bremen on Tuesday, with Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann confirming the 30-year-old would have an X-ray to assess the damage.
It was then reported by French outlet L’Equipe that the injury was serious enough to keep the player out of the tournament in a huge blow to the Africa Cup of Nations champions.
But it seems Senegal are happy to give up a slot in their squad in the hope Mane, who finished second in this year’s Ballon d’Or voting behind Karim Benzema, can recover in time to feature in some part of the World Cup.
On Thursday, Samoura the No 2 at world football’s governing body, 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!’
Senegal squad for the Qatar World Cup
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Seny Dieng (QPR), Alfred Gomis (Rennes).
Defenders: Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco).
Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Pape Sarr (Tottenham), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Mamadou Loum (Reading), Pathe Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Krepin Diatta (Monaco).
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Ismaila Sarr (Watford), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United).