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Senegal’s rising star Amara Diouf omitted from African games due to age restriction

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Despite his stellar performances with the Senegal U17 team at the AFCON and the U17 World Cup last year, the 15-year-old prodigy, who swiftly transitioned to the A international level, finds himself ineligible for the U20 competition due to age restrictions.

Coach Serigne Saliou Dia expressed the unfortunate circumstance, stating, “There is a deadline, and only players born in 2007 (or before) are allowed to play. Unfortunately, he (Amara Diouf) is from 2008.”

Amara Diouf, known for his prolific scoring ability, would have been a significant asset for the Senegal U20 team, especially in Group B encounters against Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tunisia.

However, Coach Dia emphasized the depth of talent in the U20 selection, composed of formidable players from the local Ligue 1.

“While Amara Diouf is the spearhead of the U17 team, we are now with the U20 selection, another level. All players are important, but no one is essential,” stated Coach Dia.

He reassured that Amara Diouf remains a project and a player Senegal can rely on in the future.

Assistant coach Souleymane Diallo echoed a similar sentiment, emphasizing the team’s collective strength. “We are not dependent on Amara, but dependent as a group,” clarified Diallo.

Despite the age-related omission, the coaching staff is committed to building a cohesive and competitive team, with or without Amara Diouf’s presence.

Senegal’s focus remains on fostering a collective spirit and leveraging the talent within the squad, adhering to the competition regulations that have excluded Amara Diouf based on his birth year in 2008.

 

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