Amine Gouiri, an attacking player, has withdrawn from Algeria’s roster for the African Cup of Nations, however the country has not yet decided who would take his position.
The Stade Rennais striker was included in coach Djamel Belmadi’s first 26-man roster for the tournament in the Ivory Coast, scheduled to begin next week, but a knee injury has eliminated any possibility of playing.
Belmadi claimed that when he picked Gouiri last Friday, he was not aware of his injuries and that his French club had been sluggish to provide updates on his health.
On December 20, Gouiri participated in Rennes’ final Ligue 1 matchup against Clermont Foot, leaving the game in the 84th minute. However, the club has now denied disclosing information late.
“Following the statement of the Algeria coach, Stade Rennais would like to clarify that all information relating to the health of Amine Gouiri was transmitted in due time to his national team so that the latter could make a decision regarding his participation at the Cup of Nations,” it said on Tuesday.
“Stade Rennais is disappointed for its striker who will miss a major international competition,” the club’s statement added.
It had been a significant victory for Algeria to convince the 23-year-old to abandon his allegiance to France, for whom he had scored 12 goals in 31 games at the under-21 level.
Gouiri has appeared in four games for the Algerians since making his debut in October.
Up to 27 players from each of the 24 participating countries can be selected for the finals of the Cup of Nations, which means that West Ham United forward Said Benrahma, who was unexpectedly left out last week, may play.