Senegal will use witch doctors to ensure Sadio Mane is fit for the World Cup, according to FIFA’s secretary general.
Bayern Munich star Mane is a doubt for the tournament in Qatar, which kicks off in just 10 days, after picking up an injury in their 6-1 Bundesliga win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday (November 8).
How long he will be sidelined for is still unknown, but Senegal boss Aliou Cisse is reportedly going to include him in his 26-man squad regardless when it’s announced tomorrow (November 11). And the medical team are set to go to extreme lengths in their attempts to heal him.
Fatma Samoura, the No. 2 to Gianni Infantino at FIFA, told Europe 1 her country “are going to use witch doctors”, adding: “I don’t know [if they’re effective] but in this instance, we’re going to use them anyway. We are hoping for miracles. He has to be there.”
Mane is Senegal’s main man and without him, their chances of progressing far in the World Cup are slim. He guided his nation to Africa Cup of Nations glory earlier this year.
Despite missing a penalty in the final against Egypt, he went on to covert the decisive spot kick in the shootout after they’d drawn 0-0. He was named player of the tournament having scored three goals and registered two assists.
Mane then clashed with his, now former, Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah again in qualification for the World Cup. And he scored the winning penalty once more to secure their spot in Qatar.
The 30-year-old became his country’s all-time top goalscorer in June, having netted 33 times on the international stage, and will be a big miss in Qatar if he can’t recover in time.
He’s been on fire for Bayern since joining in the summer, with 11 goals and four assists in his 23 appearances in all competitions, but now won’t feature in their final game before the World Cup away at Schalke this weekend.