By Victor Kanayo
A West African country, Mali, will be weighing options ahead of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after one of their key players Ibrahim Kone sustained a protracted injury and has been ruled of the biennial competition.
The situation has reportedly punctured their preparation ahead of the tournament which kicks off January 13 in Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire.
Almeria forward sustained the horrific injury during a warm-up game between Mali and Uganda.
The sad scenario unfolded in the 30th minute during the training and Koné twisted his ankle and was unable to continue.
The look on the faces of his teammates was enough to suggest that the injury was serious and that the Almeria striker was likely to forfeit his place at the AFCON 2023.
Elephants, Atlas Test
Elsewhere, Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco played out a 1-1 draw at the weekend in a friendly match synonymous with preparations for the competition.
After the match, Walid Regragui, for the french side expressed great dissatisfaction with his players.
While Cote d’ivoire the host country are in group A alongside Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Equitorial Guinea, Morocco will face DR Congo, Tanzania and Zambia in Group F.
Morocco stunned Belgium, Spain and Portugal en route to becoming the first ever African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final last December.