Senegal striker Demba Ba accepts World Cup omission

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Demba Ba
Demba Ba's last appearance for Senegal was in a friendly against Ghana in 2015

Demba Ba says he is not too disappointed about his omission from Senegal's squad for next month's World Cup in Russia.

Ba, 32, has not played for his country since March 2015 but his recent performances with Turkish side Goztepe led to Aliou Cisse refusing to rule out a recall last month.

Despite Cisse's comments Ba was not named in the 23-man squad for Russia.

"I'm not too disappointed at all," he told Senegalese publication Record.

"I have no control over the coach's decision, I will only hurt myself by pulling my hair out or by feeling sorry for myself.

"The only power I have, in reality, is to keep producing good performances. I do not have to whine about missing the chance to play in a World Cup.

"I have no regrets as my progress in football has taken the proper route because hard work has taken me to where I am today."

After scoring seven goals in 13 appearances since joining the Turkish side in January the local fans and media expected Cisse to give Ba a chance.

After learning of his omission the striker took to social media to throw his support behind the squad.

"Make us proud," he wrote on Instagram external-linkunder the squad list.

The former Newcastle and Chelsea star also took a philosophical look at his career after he suffered a potentially career-ending broken leg while playing in the Chinese Super League two years ago.

He added: "After 18 months out with injury. In July 2016, people were wondering if my career was over? Today, they are sad because Demba is not on the list of 23 Lions.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse did not include striker Demba Ba in his World Cup squad

"You can not imagine the path I've taken to get to this stage of my career. I can only feel a sense of pride and contentment.

Injuries prevented Ba from being a regular for the Teranga Lions and he did not feature as they sealed qualification for a second appearance at the World Cup.

Despite his last appearance for Senegal coming under Cisse, against Ghana in a friendly on 28 March 2015, Ba was under no illusions about the task he faced in his quest for a recall.

The likes of Mame Biram Diouf, Moussa Sow, Diafra Sakho, Mbaye Niang and Ismaila Sarr - all World Cup bound - were always ahead of him in Cisse's thinking.

Ba was not the only big name player to miss out with Everton striker Oumar Niasse, Pape Souare, Younousse Sankhare and Armand Traore also failing to make Cisse's final 23.

At their first and only World Cup appearance in 2002, Senegal - led by then captain and now coach Cisse - reached the quarter-finals and beat a star-studded French side in the group stages.

This time around, Senegal will have to get past Poland, Colombia and Japan in Group H of the tournament in Russia.

The Teranga Lions will begin their World Cup Group H campaign against Poland on 19 June in Moscow before they play Japan on 24 June and then Colombia four days later.

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