Demba Ba demands answers after Senegal squad omission

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Demba Ba
Demba Ba

Demba Ba has demanded an explanation from national coach Alain Giresse after the shock news he was left out of Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations squad.

The Besiktas striker was expected to be a shoe-in for next month's tournament in Equatorial Guinea.

Ba, formerly of Chelsea and Newcastle, has scored 16 goals in 19 appearances for his Turkish club this season.

He last played for the Teranga Lions as a late substitute in October's 1-0 loss in Tunisia in a Nations Cup qualifier.

In an angry outburst on Twitter,external-link the 29-year-old said he wants a detailed explanation for his omission from the provisional 28-man squad announced on Friday.

"I can't wait to hear his excuses and destroy them one by one," Ba said on Twitter.

Ba was omitted from the Teranga Lions squad for their final qualifiers against Egypt and Botswana in November, with Giresse insisting the striker was injured.

Senegal's Group C fixtures
19 Jan: v Ghana in Mongomo
23 Jan: v South Africa in Mongomo
27 Jan: v Algeria in Malabo

A disappointed Ba quickly sought to clarify the situation in the media by insisting that he was fully fit to play.

"The coach called and said that I needed to rest and take care of my ankle. It feels strange to me as I am completely fit and able to play football," Ba told Senegalese publication "Stades" after his omission.

"If Alain Giresse wanted to include me, he would have done so as he knows that my ankle is completely fine."

It appears the experienced striker has paid the price for his public outburst and his place in the squad has been taken by Diafra Sakho, who plays for English Premier League side West Ham United.

Giresse, who has been in charge since January 2013, named Diambars goalkeeper Ousmane Mane as the only locally-based player and included brothers Lamine and Salif Sane in the squad.

The 2002 Nations Cup runners-up will look to striker Papiss Cisse for goals. Cisse is enjoying a good season with Newcastle United with seven Premier League goals to his name so far.

Senegal are in Group C at the Nations Cup where they will face favourites Algeria, Ghana and South Africa at the 17 January to 8 February tournament.

The players will begin their training camp in Dakar on 2 January and then move to El Jadida in Morocco on 7 January, the same day Giresse is expected to finalise his 23-man squad.

Senegal's provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Bouna Coundoul (Ethnikos Achnas FC, Cyprus), Lys Gomis (Trappani, Italy), Pape Demba Camara (Sochaux, France), Ousmane Mane (Diambars)

Defenders: Zargo Toure (Le Havre, France), Lamine Gassama (Lorient, France), Lamine Sane (Bordeaux, France), Kara Mbodj (Genk, Belgium), Pape Ndiaye Souare (Lille, France), Papy Djilobodji (Nantes, France), Boukary Drame (Atalanta, Italy), Ibrahima Mbaye (Inter Milan, Italy), Cheikh Mbengue (Rennes, France)

Midfielders: Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham, England), Pape Kouli Diop (Levante, Spain), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Lille, France), Stephane Badji (Brann, Norway), Salif Sane (Hanover, Germany), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Bodo Glimt, Norway), Alfred Ndiaye (Real Betis, Spain).

Strikers: Moussa Konate (SC Sion, Switzerland), Diafra Sakho (West Ham, England), Mame Birame Diouf (Stoke City, England), Sadio Mane (Southampton, England), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle, England), Henri Saivet (Bordeaux, France), Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia).