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Page last updated at 22:43 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Hibs boss wary of Bamba call-up

Sol Bamba
Bamba has been called up to the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast

Hibs manager John Hughes insists he would be upset if Premier League teams field Ivory Coast players after Sol Bamba was ruled out against Rangers.

Defender Bamba has been ordered to join his country's African Nations Cup squad on the day Hibs host the Ibrox side.

Ivory Coast would not agree to give the 24-year-old an extra 24 hours grace.

"I'd be very angry if Sol went out on the 27th December and I watched the Premier League on Monday and there are Ivory Coast players out," said Hughes.

Monday's English top-flight games involving Chelsea, Manchester City and Portsmouth, in addition to Arsenal's game on Sunday could feature players like Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure, Aruna Dindane and Emmanuel Eboue.

There cannot be one rule for one and other rules for others

Hibs manager John Hughes

"There cannot be one rule for one and other rules for others," said Hughes.

"As long as it's right across the board, fair enough."

Hughes said he had tried everything he could to secure Bamba's release, while the player himself also made a personal plea to Ivory Coast boss Vahid Halilhodzic.

"He certainly expressed his views to the manager that he wanted to come and play - he's desperate to play against Rangers," said Hughes.

"Obviously, I think they've got a real opportunity to go and win it, so he could be away as long as five, six weeks," he said.

"Don't forget, he's been nursing a knee problem.

"I'm just hoping he goes over there and has a real good, cracking tournament.

"I could be selfish and say, 'I hope they don't do well', but that's not my character."



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