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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 19:02 GMT
Stephan dismisses rumours
Mohamed Fajah Barrie
BBC Sport in Tunis

Senegal coach Guy Stephan
Stephan says Diao has apologised for his comments

Senegal coach Guy Stephan has said he is in full control of his squad, ahead of the Teranga Lions' African Cup of Nations quarter-final against hosts Tunisia.

The French coach was reacting to questions that star striker El Hadji Diouf has not been adhering to team orders.

"As far as I am concerned, Diouf has not broken any camp rules, and I should know as I know everything that my players are doing in camp. I am in full control of my boys," said Stephan.

"Diouf is a great player and I am satisfied with his performances.

"He created two goals for Niang against Kenya which helped us win. I think we should focus on his performances rather than on his behaviour."

The current African Footballer of the Year was strongly criticised by his team-mate Salif Diao after the Mali match on Monday, saying that he was not doing enough to win back the ball after losing it and that he works harder for Liverpool than he does for Senegal.

Stephan says that Diao has apologised to Diouf for his comments and for criticising the coach's tactical approach against Mali.

"It's normal for players to give their opinions and Salif Diao is no exception," added Stephan.

"He criticised Diouf and my tactical approach for the Mali match which I think is wrong but now he has come back to his senses and has apologised for that," he said

Senegal hold crisis meeting
02 Feb 04  |  African Cup of Nations
Mali win Group B
01 Feb 04  |  African Cup of Nations
Stephan defends Senegal stars
28 Jan 04  |  African Cup of Nations

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