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Football | Africa

Cisse ready to return for Lions



Senegal captain Papiss Cisse has declared he was ready to return to the outfit and resume his role as skipper after threatening last month to quit in the wake of sanctions imposed on him when the Senegal football federation reported him to FIFA for failing to show up during a friendly match against Niger.

“Our coach called me on the wrong number so he thought I intentionally switched off the phone to avoid him and the invitation for the Niger friendly,” the Newcastle forward said on Wednesday.

“That was really not the case. I love my country and I’m always proud to honour any invitation. For now I’m fully prepared to play for the Teranga Lions as we approach the World Cup qualifiers and I’d love to retake my place as captain.”

Cisse was handed a one-match suspension in the Premier League after being found guilty of shamming injury to avoid the encounter against the Mena in Niamey on November 14 which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Medical reports from the Magpies failed to convince officials in Dakar that the 27-year-old former Freiburg striker was truly unfit to travel.

Senegal are currently without a coach after Joseph Koto was sacked in October for failing to qualify the team to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

The FA last week presented a shortlist of five candidates for the job including Aliou Cisse from Senegal, Frenchmen Jacques Santini and Alain Giresse, German manager Walker Sinke and former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson from Sweden.

The new coach will be announced before the end of December, according to the Ministry of Sports.

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