The sensational 27-year-old will be forced to sit out their curtain-raiser in Cairo after being penalised with two yellow cards in his side’s qualifers.
Defiantly, Cisse declared to the Senegalese media brigade: “His absence should not in any way bother us”. That was before the Senegal team left their Spanish training camp for host country Egypt.
“Certainly the presence of Sadio is beneficial but without him we remain strong.
“The CAF [Confederation of African Football] has decided, so we will not linger,” the Senegal boss added.
— Goal (@goal) June 13, 2019
Mané received his first yellow back on the 17th September 2018 when Senegal won away against Equatorial Guinea, while his second was a dubious one (yet to be confirmed by CAF statistics) given in a 2-0 win against Madagascar on the 23rd March 2019.
Hosted by Egypt and rescheduled for Ramadan, this year’s AFCON will run from the 21st June to the 19th July.
It represents Mané’s third showing in the tournament, but it is the second time he will be missing for Senegal’s first match – the first absence due to a calf injury back in 2015 while still at Southampton.
After gloriously winning the Champions League with his fellow Reds in Madrid earlier in June, Mané travelled from the capital to the national training camp in Alicante on Thursday, a day before he and his Senegal teammates headed off to Egypt.
With group games against Algeria and Kenya still to be contested, Mané will be eligible and raring to go once they roll around towards the end of the month in Cairo.