Wednesday Oct 09, 2019. 14:00
Senegal striker M’Baye Niang has been forced to defend his withdrawal from the Senegal squad to face Brazil in a high-profile friendly in Singapore on Thursday after local reports said he had refused to travel with the squad.
Niang has not been in the best of form for the Senegalese of late and did not score a single goal for the side in their run to the final of the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, despite starting every game.
There was surprise at his injury withdrawal from the squad to meet Brazil considering he has started every match for French Ligue 1 side Rennes this season, playing the 90 minutes in all but two games.
But he says there is nothing sinister in his withdrawal and that the Senegalese medical team has checked him over and confirmed he should sit out the game.
“With all my heart I want to be with my friends in Singapore for Senegal-Brazil, but an injury prevented me from making the trip with the selection,” he said in a statement. “The team doctor and the coach [Aliou Cisse] have noted with professionalism my unavailability.
It follows numerous reports in the Senegalese press that said he had refused to make the trip, with some even suggesting there had been a fall-out with Cisse.