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Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 16:14 UK

Senegal snub for Niang, Diawara

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Dakar

Souleymane Diawara
Diawara had written to the football authorities to end his exile
Senegal coach Lamin Ndiaye has sprung a major surprise by failing to select Mamadou Niang and Souleymane Diawara for next week's 2010 World Cup qualifier against The Gambia.

The France-based duo ended self-imposed exiles from the national team last week in a move seen as clearing the path for their return for the critical tie in Dakar on 11 October.

Yet both are now paying the price for missing all five of Senegal's qualifiers so far, as Ndiaye keeps faith with those players who have contested a stuttering Group 6 campaign.

The coach has also handed a first call-up in over two years to veteran Khalilou Fadiga, who has resurrected his career in Belgium with Germinal Beerschot after recovering from heart problems.

The 33-year-old playmaker, who was key to Senegal's fine Nations Cup and World Cup displays in 2002, will lend much-needed creativity to a side sometimes lacking ideas.

Elsewhere, Ndiaye has drafted in Remi Gomes for the first time and the midfielder, 24, becomes the second player this year to opt to play for Senegal rather than France - just as Issiar Dia did in June.

The coach is not due to meet the press until Monday but the local media is already speculating that he was loath to upset the balance of his squad by recalling Niang and Diawara.

Their return had been expected after Ndiaye insisted they formally end their exiles by writing to Senegalese football authorities, which the pair did on 24 September.

It is a considerable gamble because if the 2002 World Cup quarter-finalists fail to win next week, they will miss out on not only Africa's first World Cup in 2010 but that year's Nations Cup as well.

Senegal currently lie third in Group 6, trailing second-placed Gambia on goal difference and leaders Algeria by a point.

If the Algerians win their final game in Liberia, Senegal must beat their neighbours to have any chance of reaching next year's final round of qualifying as one of the eight best runners-up.


Goalkeepers: Tony Mario Sylva (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Bouna Coundoul (Colorado Rapids, USA), Pape Laye Coulibaly (Saint-Etienne, France)

Defenders: Pascal Mendy (FC Kaunas, Lithuania), Abdoulaye Diagne Faye, Ibrahima Sonko (Stoke City, England), Pape Malickou Diakhaté (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Ibou Faye (Troyes, France), Cheikh Guèye (FC Metz, France)

Midfielders: Kader Mangane (Rennes, France), Guirane Ndaw (FC Nantes, France), Issiar Dia (Nancy, France), Rémi Gomis (SM Caen, France), Frédéric Mendy (Bastia, France), Khalilou Fadiga (Germinal Beerschot, Belgium), Salif Diao (Stoke City, England), Ousmane Ndoye (FC Vaslui, Romania)

Forwards: Pape Waïgo Ndiaye (Fiorentina, Italy), Henri Camara (Wigan Athletics, England), El Hadji Diouf (Sunderland, England), Modou Sougou (Academica Coimbra, Portugal), Mbaye Leye (Zulte Waregem, Belgium), Babacar Guèye (FC Metz, France).

see also
Senegal expel Diawara
16 Aug 06 |  African
Algeria return to Group 6 summit
06 Sep 08 |  African
Liberia rally means Senegal draw
15 Jun 08 |  African

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