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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Mali send Niane home after alleged altercation with team captain Diaby

5:11 PM EDT 6/28/19
Mali
The striker was allegedly involved in a fight at the Eagles’ official hotel at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon)

The Mali squad has been reduced to 22 players following the expulsion of forward Adama Niane.

The Mali Football Federation (Femafoot), as well as the coaching staff of the Eagles, decided to expel Niane after he allegedly slapped team captain Abdoulaye Diaby.

"Adama Niane was excluded from the Eagles group for non-respect," Mali team's media officer Ibrahim Zie Coulibaly was quoted as saying on EuroSport.

While the Mali team media officer did not offer full details on why Niane was axed, reports claim the striker was involved in an alleged altercation with his captain over taking turns for a haircut.

According to Footmali, the altercation allegedly happened when Mali national team players ordered a hairdresser to their hotel and once he arrived Diaby sat on the barber chair. This didn’t please Niane who reportedly slapped his captain.

Although Mali is getting the job done on the pitch, they have struggled with off-the-pitch distractions.

After Friday’s 1-1 draw against Tunisia,  Mali remain on top of Group E with four points from their opening two fixtures, with one foot in the Round of 16.