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Malian national team coach, Eric Chelle, has disclosed the reasons behind his decision to exclude highly regarded Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Yves Bissouma, from the squad for the upcoming international friendlies against Mauritania and Nigeria.

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Mali is scheduled to face Nigeria in an international friendly on Tuesday, with the Super Eagles having secured a 2-1 victory over Ghana on Friday.

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Despite speculations about Bissouma nursing an injury, Chelle denied such claims. Prior to Mali’s squad announcement, Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou had even included the midfielder in the starting lineup for the London derby against Fulham.

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Following the Africa Cup of Nations, Bissouma faced criticism for alleged lack of commitment while representing Mali. Chelle indicated that other midfielders are currently in better form than Bissouma.

Addressing reporters at a press conference ahead of the friendly matches, Chelle stated, “Like many players, he [Bissouma] merits consideration; it’s simply a matter of choice. At this moment, there are midfielders in my squad who are performing more consistently. However, this doesn’t rule out his future inclusion.”

Meanwhile, Bissouma has taken social media actions, unfollowing the Malian Football Federation on Instagram and removing all images of himself donning the Mali jersey from his personal account.

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