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Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 17:31 UK

Hibs' Sol Bamba is punished for late World Cup return

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Hughes rules Bamba out of Euro match

Hibernian's Sol Bamba has been told to train with the youth team, after returning late from international duty.

The Ivory Coast defender attended the World cup, but manager John Hughes said the player break was longer than had been authorised by the Edinburgh club.

"He came back this morning, obviously too late to travel with us in Europe," Hughes told BBC Scotland.

"Once we get this out of the way, I'll sit down with him and say exactly where we are and what's going to happen."

Bamba failed to turn up for training last Monday and Hibernian said they had not heard from the 25-year-old central defender, who has one year of his contract to run at Easter Road.

My focus is on my team and my squad that's going over to Maribor. It's as simple as that.

Hibernian manager John Hughes

Speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of their trip to Slovenia, Hughes insisted he was concentrating on the Europa League qualifier with Maribor and Bamba would train with the youth squad until the first team returned.

"Our preparations have been underway since 1 July, and I didn't want any distractions, so he trained with the kids this morning.

"My focus is on my team and my squad that's going over to Maribor.

"It's as simple as that."

Having played two friendlies in Holland already, Hughes had hoped to field Bamba against Ado Den Haag on Wednesday evening.

Despite the setback, the manager remains optimistic ahead of the Europa League meeting with Maribor.

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"The boys who are here have demonstrated fantastic commitment so far and we are totally focused on our opening match," said Hughes.

"I'm delighted to be working with a great bunch of professionals, and the spirit in the camp is brilliant - I can assure everyone that nothing will be allowed to distract us as we prepare for this vital match."

Bamba, a former trainee at Paris St Germain, moved to Scotland with Dunfermline and made the switch to Easter Road in the summer of 2008 after a proposed transfer to Watford fell through.

Troubled by a knee injury, he was an unused substitute at the World Cup, having featuring throughout the African Cup of Nations earlier in the year.



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see also
Bamba to have Hibs future talks
23 Jul 10 |  Hibernian
Bamba predicts special World Cup
19 Feb 10 |  Hibernian


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