Liverpool have asked Sadio Mane not to risk his health by playing in Senegal’s African Cup of Nations (AFCoN) quarter-final against Equatorial Guinea.
Described as a ‘direct appeal’ from the Reds by the Daily Mail, Mane has been told by his club to avoid playing in Sunday night’s match.
The 29-year-old was knocked out during Senegal’s previous AFCoN game against Cape Verde on Tuesday following a collision with opposition goalkeeper Vozinha, who was shown a straight red card.
Mane initially stayed on the pitch and scored as Senegal sealed a 2-0 victory; however, the forward was eventually substituted in the 70th minute before reportedly being taken to hospital after complaining of dizziness.
Chris Sutton slams how Mane’s injury was handled
Earlier this week, former Premier League striker Chris Sutton slammed Senegal’s handling of the player’s injury.
“Mane collides with the goalkeeper at speed, then fails to break his fall, landing face-first instead,” Sutton told the Daily Mail. “He’s unable to lift his head while lying on his back.
“There only needs to be the slightest suspicion of concussion for the player to be substituted. Yet he was helped back up and pretty much told, ‘You’ve passed the tests. On you go, son’.
“After celebrating his goal, he dropped to the deck and then was a concussion substitute. It would be a ridiculous attitude from Senegal, from the Confederation of African Football, from FIFA or from anybody with influence in this situation, if he featured on Sunday.
“If Mane does feature, that will be proof of football putting results ahead of players. This is the reality of football’s attitude towards brain injuries. It really is remarkable.”
Brain charity Headway have also accused Senegal of putting results before Mane’s health and have called on FIFA to intervene.
Liverpool appear to be equally as concerned about Mane’s welfare and have contacted their world-class No. 10 to make their stance clear.
Had the incident happened in the Premier League, Mane would be forced to miss Liverpool’s next game due to English football’s current protocols.
However, Senegal team doctor Abdourahmane Fdior has insisted there was no concussion.
“All symptoms he had on the pitch are gone,” he said in a statement. “Everything is normal on the X-ray.”
Mane trains ahead of Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea
Mane, who posted a photo of himself on an exercise bike on Thursday, took part in Senegal’s training session on Saturday, prompting concerns that he will be selected for Sunday’s knockout match against Equatorial Guinea in Yaounde.
(Credit: Sadio Mane, Instagram)
Senegal will face Burkina Faso on February 2 if they advance to the semi-finals.
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