Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse has selected French-born Pope Alassane Gueye in the 25-member squad for the forthcoming academic World Cup qualifying matches against Congo and Togo.
Cisse has selected the Olympic Marseille midfielder Gueye after he recently announced a switch from France to represent his parents’ home country, Senegal.
“Pape is a talented boy capable of playing two in front of the defense and evolving into a sentry position. We were keen to strengthen our midfielder there which lacked a little size and a little impact too,” Cisse told the media when unveiling the squad on Friday.
Senegal FA website confirmed that “the list includes the presence of Pope Alassane Gueye. The young Marseille midfielder has agreed to wear the colors of Senegal for the first time.”
Cisse has since included in the squad Liverpool star forward Sadio Mane and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy despite that the matches are dead-rubbers.
However, the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) deputy secretary general Ibrahima Niang on Monday announced that defender Abdou Diallo and goalkeeper Seny Dieng have withdrawn from the squad after testing positive for Covid-19.
“The FSF expresses its full support for these valiant Lions and wishes them a speedy recovery so that they can resume competition,” Niang said in a statement.
Senegal play Togo on November 11 2021 at the Stade de Kégué and receive Congo three days later in Thiès.
The Teranga Lions already secured their spot in the last phase of the World Cup qualifiers for Africa.
Senegal lead Group H with unassailable 12 points, four points away from second and third-placed Togo and Namibia whereas Congo anchor the table on two points.
Senegal full squad:
Goalkeepers : Edouard Mendy, Alfred Gomis, Seyni Timothy Dieng
Defenders : Kalidou Koulibaly, Ibrahima Mbaye, Bouna Sarr, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Fodé Ballo Touré, Abdou Diallo Pape Abdou Cissé, Saliou Ciss
Midfielders : Idrissa Gana Guèye, Nampalys Mendy, Krépin Diatta), Pape Matar Sarr Moustapha Nam France, Mamadou Loum Ndiaye, Pape Alassane Guèye
Forwards : Sadio Mané, Ismaël Sarr, Boulaye Dia, Famara Diédhiou, Habib Diallo, Bamba Dieng