News and titbits
The first-ever winter edition of the World Cup is now within touching distance, with hosts Qatar getting the tournament underway on Sunday. VIP Magazine’s IKENNA OKAFOR begins a daily countdown to the biggest football event on the planet with incisive and precise updates.
Kimpembe is out of the World Cup…
Presnel Kimpembe has been forced to withdraw from the Blues squad for the 2022 World Cup due to injury.
The 27-year-old has struggled to stay fit at the club level during the 2022-23 season, making just 11 appearances for PSG in all competitions.
Kimpembe first sustained a serious hamstring injury in a Ligue 1 win over Brest on October 9, which ruled him out of eight games for PSG across all tournaments.
The 2018 representative has been replaced by uncapped Monaco defender Axel Disasi
A statement from the French Football Federation read: “Presnel Kimpembe will not participate in the World Cup. The Paris-SG defender does not consider himself sufficiently recovered to hold his place in the defence of the Blues in Qatar.
Harit suffers Qatar heartbreak
Morocco forward Amine Harit is all but certain to miss the World Cup after suffering a knee ligament injury in his last club match prior to joining his national camp for the finals in Qatar.
Named in the World Cup last week, Harit was carried off the pitch on a stretcher just before the hour mark during Marseille’s 3-2 win at Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
He lay on the pitch for several minutes while Marseille medical staff assessed the problem, before holding his head with both hands as he was carried off.
World Cup Squads
Goalkeepers: Saad Al-Sheeb, Meshaal Barsham, Yousef Hassan.
Defenders: Pedro Miguel, Musaab Khidir, Tarek Salman, Bassam Al-Rawi, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Homam Ahmed, Jassem Gaber.
Midfielders: Ali Asad, Assim Madabo, Mohammed Waad, Salem Al-Hajri, Moustafa Tarek, Karim Boudiaf, Abdelaziz Hatim, Ismail Mohamad.
Forwards: Naif Al-Hadhrami, Ahmed Alaaeldin, Hassan Al-Haydos, Khalid Muneer, Akram Afif, Almoez Ali, Mohamed Muntari.
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Alfred Gomis, Seny Diang.
Defenders: Bouna Sarr, Saliou Ciss, Kalidou Koulibaly, Pape Abou Cisse, Abdou Diallo, Ibrahima Mbaye, Abdoulaye Seck, Fode Ballo Toure, Cheikhou Kouyate.
Midfielders: Pape Matar Sarr, Pape Gueye, Nampalys Mendy, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Moustapha Name, M. Loum Ndiaye, Joseph Lopy.
Forwards: Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Bamba Dieng, Keita Balde, Habib Diallo, Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, Mame Babe Thiam.
Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow, Andries Noppert, Remko Pasveer.
Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake, Daley Blind, Jurrien Timber, Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Matthijs de Ligt, Tyrell Malacia, Jeremie Frimpong.
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaassen, Teun Koopmeiners, Cody Gakpo, Maarten de Roon, Kenneth Taylor, Xavi Simons.
Forwards: Memphis Depay, Steven Bergwijn, Vincent Janssen, Luuk de Jong, Noa Lang, Wout Weghorst.
Goalkeepers: Aymen Dahmen, Bechir Ben Said, Aymen Mathlouthi, Mouez Hassen.
Defenders: Wajdi Kechrida, Mohamed Drager, Dylan Bronn, Nader Ghandri, Bilel Ifa, Yassine Meriah, Montassar Talbi, Ali Maaloul, Ali Abdi.
Midfielders: Ghailene Chaalali, Aissa Laidouni, Eliyes Skhiri, Hannibal Mejbri, Ferjani Sassi, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane.
Forwards: Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni, Taha Yessine Khenissi, Issam Jebali, Seiffedine Jaziri, Anis Ben Slimane, Naim Sliti.
Qatar 2022 Countdown…5 days to go