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07th Jul 2022

Sadio Mane volunteered to sign ‘death contract’ to play for Senegal

Callum Boyle

Mane volunteered to do so for Senegal during AFCON

Sadio Mane has revealed that he offered to sign a contract that would see him take responsibility if he died while playing for Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mane suffered a head injury during his country’s 1-0 win against Cape Verde and had to be substituted following a collision with the goalkeeper.

Senegal went on to win the game and advance to the quarter-finals however Mane was a doubt for the fixture after he had been diagnosed with concussion.

Sadio Mane Senegal

‘Liverpool put pressure on the federation and wrote a letter to FIFA that I needed at least five days rest’

Liverpool wrote to Senegal’s football federation to ensure that the winger would be rested for five days, meaning he would miss the quarter-finals – but the Senegal captain had other ideas.

In an interview with Pro Direct Soccer France, Mane revealed he was so determined to play, he was willing to risk his own life.

“When I got injured against Cape Verde and I had concussion, I never talked about it that day,” he said.

“Liverpool put pressure on the federation and wrote a letter to FIFA that I needed at least five days rest so that meant I was to miss the quarter-finals.

“Our national team doctor also had to follow those rules. When they told me that, I called the coach and told him ‘The doctor does not want me to play but you have to put me in the starting 11.'”

Sadio Mane Senegal

‘If I die, they have to say it is my fault’

Mane then added: “I called the federation president and told him we need to have a meeting because I have to play. I could give up my life.

“I know I shouldn’t play but let us have a contract. It will be my responsibility, I will sign.

“If I die, they have to say it is my fault. No one’s fault. But they said ‘Sadio, you cannot play’ but I said ‘no, no, it is out of the question.’

“It was around 1am or 2am, everyone panicked and I said ‘Coach, I know even you are scared. Just write a letter that says I played voluntarily in case I die or whatever happens’. Everyone was tensed.

“I did not sign the paper but they finally said ‘no, no it’s not possible’ but I was ready to do it so the doctor said ‘Okay, let us do a scan in the morning the day of the match.’

“In the morning, we did the scan, we sent it to the Confederation of African Football, they checked with the doctor, there was nothing so the doctor said ‘Okay, you can play’ because to see me sign a paper would be complicated for him as well. Thank God everything went well.”

Mane would go on to return and score the winning penalty in the final against Egypt to win the competition.

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