Mali's new coach Amadou Pathe Diallo met with Paris Saint Germain’s Mohamed Sissoko last weekend to persuade the defensive midfielder to return to the national team two years after he retired from international football.
But after hours of talk, the 27-year-old former Liverpool and Juventus player stuck to his guns and saw off his guest, according to a source at the Mali football federation.
Diallo, who succeeded Frenchman Alain Giresse early this month, has promised to bring back the players who left the team out of frustration, but his first attempt with Sissoko yielded no encouraging signs.
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medal winners lost 2-1 to Cote d’Ivoire in a friendly match played on Sunday in France.
Drawn in Group H alongside Algeria, Benin and Rwanda, Mali will begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying against the Squirrels in Cotonou on June 3 and play host to the Fennecs a week later.