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Olympiacos blocks Aguibou Camara from 2024 Olympics

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Guinea’s hopes for the 2024 Olympics have taken a significant hit as Olympiacos has refused to release midfielder Aguibou Camara for the upcoming tournament in France, scheduled from July 24 to August 9.

The Guinean Football Federation announced on Wednesday that Camara, initially included in Guinea’s Olympic squad, will be unable to participate due to his club’s decision.

Olympiacos’ refusal has led to Camara’s replacement by 22-year-old Sékou Tidiany Bangoura, who is currently unattached after leaving Istanbul Basakséhir.

The official statement from the Guinean Football Federation highlighted the situation: “The Olympiacos FC midfielder will ultimately not go to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In an email sent to the Guinean Football Federation, the Greek club announced that it would not release the former player of the Elephants of Coléah.”

This decision is part of a broader trend affecting several other Guinean players.

The press release listed additional names who will be absent from the Olympic Games due to non-release by their clubs: Issiaga Sylla (Montpellier HSC, France), Dembo Sylla (FC Lorient, France), Ibrahim Diakité (Cercle Bruges, Belgium), Saïdou Sow (RC Strasbourg Alsace, France), Seydouba Cissé (CD Leganés, Spain), Mohamed Bayo (Lille, France), Morgan Guilavogui (RC Lens, France), Cheick Souaré (FC Viktoria Plzen, Czech Republic), and Serhou Guirassy (VfB Stuttgart, Germany).

With these absences, Guinea’s U23 team faces a challenging road ahead in the Olympic tournament. They are set to begin their campaign in Group A with a match against New Zealand on July 24 in Nice.

This will be followed by a clash with host nation France on July 27 at the Stade de Nice.

The group stage will conclude with a match against the United States on July 30 at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne.

The situation highlights the ongoing struggle for national teams to secure player releases from clubs, particularly for tournaments that fall outside FIFA’s international calendar.

Clubs often prioritize their domestic and international commitments over allowing players to participate in such events, which are not mandatory for player release under FIFA regulations.

Guinea’s head coach now faces the difficult task of restructuring the team without key players.

The inclusion of Sékou Tidiany Bangoura offers some hope, but the loss of experienced players like Camara and others is a significant blow.

The team will need to rely heavily on the remaining squad members to step up and fill the void left by these notable absences.

As the tournament approaches, the Guinean Football Federation and fans alike will be watching closely to see how the team adapts to these challenges.

The resilience and performance of the U23 squad in the face of adversity will be crucial in determining their success in the 2024 Olympic Games.

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