Sadio Mane ruled out of Senegal’s World Cup openers as nation holds out hope he’ll play some part in Qatar

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sadio Mane will sit out at least the start of Senegal’s World Cup campaign, it has been confirmed.

A leg injury picked up by the Bayern Munich winger earlier this month put his availability in Qatar at risk but Senegal football federation board member Abdoulaye Sow has now clarified the situation.

It has been explained that Mane, 30, will miss his country’s “first games” at the World Cup.

“We will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio and win without Sadio,” he told AP, via BBC.

"No-one would have wanted it, but that's what's happened to us."

The AFCON champions face arguably their toughest game in Group A first, against the Netherlands on Monday.

Hosts Qatar are up next on November 25 before a meeting with Ecuador four days later.

This year’s tournament is only Senegal’s third trip to a World Cup having previously reached the quarter-finals in 2002, on debut, and exited at the group stage four years ago.