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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Magassouba reveals how Samassa ruled himself out of Mali squad selection

08:45 BST 31/05/2019
Mamadou Samassa PSG Troyes Ligue 1 29112017
The Troyes shot-stopper wanted an assured starting spot at the continental showpiece which the coach couldn’t promise

Mohamed Magassouba has revealed that he omitted Mamadou Samassa from Mali's squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) because the goalkeeper wanted guaranteed game time at the continental showpiece.

The Eagles’ boss recently released a 27-man provisional list and the Troyes shot-stopper was a notable absentee, even though he was guaranteed a place in the final 23.

As reported by Football 365 , Magassouba finally shed some light on the 29-year-old’s absence from the West Africans’ squad.

“Samassa called me to tell me that he wanted guarantees during the Afcon, and I told him that no player is guaranteed a position before we start the competition,” the Mali trainer said.

“He then retorted that he could not come to the selection without being sure that he will keep goals during the Afcon and that he, therefore, declined the selection.”

Tout Puissant Mazembe goalie Ibrahim Mounkoro has been invited in place of Samassa and he’s expected to join up with his teammates on June 1 at the Ousmane Traore Sports Centre in Kabala, Bamako as they gear up for the biennial showpiece.

Mali have been drawn in Group E and will begin their tournament against Mauritania on June 24, before facing Tunisia and Angola on June 28 and July 2 respectively.