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Senegal's Kara Mbodji eases tension with teammates and Aliou Cisse

6:10 PM GMT+4 13/07/2018
Kara Mbodji Senegal
The Anderlecht center back was on the bench in all three of Senegal’s matches at the World Cup in Russia.

Senegal central defender Kara Mbodji has denied reports that he took a swipe at coach Aliou Cisse and his assistants for not playing him at the World Cup.

After managing to shake off an injury which had threatened to rule him out of the tournament, Mbodji was expected to continue as Cisse’s first choice centre back.

But he watched from the bench as Senegal failed to reach the last-16 of the tournament from a group that had Poland, Japan and Colombia.

Mdodji was then quoted to be upset in the local Senegalese press, taking aim at Cisse and technical assistants for denying him a chance.

"I was 200 percent ready to play,” Mbodji was quoted as saying.

“The Senegalese people must know that I was not injured and they (technical team) refused to play me for their own interests. I know the reason. I am an honest man, but in this national team of Senegal, there are many false people, too many hypocrites. Some were there for their own interests, but I was not injured.”

But the 28-year-old who is currently on holiday back home distanced himself from the reports, saying he holds no issues with Cisse’s decision to sit him out of all World Cup games.

“I just want to deny …. that I said I was sacrificed for the sake of some people,” Mbodji posted on Instagram.

“I said that I was 100 percent physically ready to defend the colours of my country but that the coach made choices that I respect. But absolutely not what I see in the reports. I want to enjoy my last days of family holidays before returning and prepare for my new season.”

With Senegal returning to action in September in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, it would be seen if Cisse still prefers to start the twin centre back pairing of Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Schalke defender Salif Sane ahead of Mbodji.