Cairo — Mali have expelled striker Adama Niane after he allegedly slapped his captain Abdoulay Diaby. Mali already had issues before the start of the tournament and the development will do little to stabilize their camp. Mail prior to the tournament had to convince world soccer governing body Fifa that they weathered the storm regarding corruption in the country's game. Fifa had threatened to throw them out of the competition.
According to Mail's journalist Ali Ismail, the altercation started when Mail players ordered for a hairdresser to their hotel. When he arrived, Diaby sat on the barber's chair. This didn't please Niane, who attacked his captain before slapping him. This incident comes just days after Egypt expelled midfielder Amr Warda for reportedly being involved with several online sexual harassment scandals. But Warda has now been recalled after clearing the air with his bosses.
Video of apology
Warda had been accused of inappropriate behaviour by various women online, which led to him being left out of the squad ahead of the Pharaoh's 2-0 win against DR Congo. During the match on Wednesday at the Cairo International stadium, Egypt goal scorer Ahmed El-Mohamady showed his support for Warda after making the '22' gesture with his hands after scoring the opener.
It symbolized the squad number while defender Baher Elmohamady lifted a Warda jersey while on the bench. The support continued online with Egypt stars Mo Salah, Ahmed Hegazi and others calling for forgiveness and second chances with the player himself releasing a video apologising.