Senegal coach Aliou Cisse and many of his squad have been rallying round Keita Balde after it was announced the winger could miss the World Cup because of an anti-doping violation.
Balde, who now plays for Spartak Moscow in Russia, has been suspended for 90 days by Italy’s anti-doping body for protocol transgressions when taking a test last April.
The test, which showed no signs of banned substances, came after his former Italian side Cagliari lost 5-1 at Udinese.
With six goals from 40 caps for the Teranga Lions, Balde represented Senegal at the 2018 World Cup in Russia as well as the past three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
The 27-year-old, who played in the group stages of Senegal’s victorious Nations Cup campaign earlier this year, will be free to play again on The 5th of December.
This puts his participation in the World Cup, with Senegal’s group games taking place between 21-29 November, into serious doubt, with the Round of 16 matches taking place from 3 December onwards.
He is allowed however to resume training 22 days before the end of his suspension.