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Tunisia’s Man Utd midfielder Mejbri opts not to play at AFCON



FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Tunisia Training - Al Egla Training Site 3, Doha, Qatar - November 29, 2022 Tunisia's Hannibal Mejbri during training REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Tunisia will be without Manchester United’s Hannibal Mejbri at the African Cup of Nations as the midfielder decided he was not ready to be in the squad, manager Jalel Kadri said on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Mejbri made the decision to skip next month’s tournament amid media speculation that he is close to securing a loan move away from Old Trafford.

“Hannibal told me that he did not feel ready for the African Cup of Nations because he is going through an important situation at his club,” Kadri told a press conference.

Experienced midfielder Ferjani Sassi has been excluded from the final 27-man squad along with full back Mohamed Drager, while Sheffield United midfielder Anis Ben Slimane returns after missing the recent World Cup qualifying matches.

Tunisia are scheduled to face Namibia, Mali and South Africa in Group E at the tournament in the Ivory Coast.



Goalkeepers: Mouez Hassen (Club Africain), Aymen Dhamen (Al Hazem), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir).

Defenders: Ali Abdi (Caen), Montassir Talbi (Lorient), Yassine Meriah (Esperance de Tunis), Oussam Haddadi (Greuther Furth), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Hamza Jelassi (Etoile du Sahel), Yan Valery (Angers), Wajdi Kechrida (Atromitos), Alaa Ghram (Sfaxien).

Midfielders: Houssem Tka (Esperance de Tunis), Hamza Rafia (Lecce), Anis Ben Slimane (Sheffield United), Aissa Laidouni (Union Berlin), Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Ferencvaros), Ellyes Skhiri (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hadj Mahmoud (Lugano), Bassem Srarfi (Club Africain).

Forwards: Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi), Haythem Jouini (Stade Tunisien), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Kuwait SC), Sayfallah Ltaief (Winterthur), Naim Sliti (Al Ahli Doha), Mortadha Ben Ouanes (Kasimpasa), Elias Achouri (FC Copenhagen)





Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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