Ivory Coast would be the hardest hit of the African national teams if players in a proposed new European Super League (ESL) are banned from playing international football. The Elephants have five first-team regulars at clubs that have announced their intention to join the ESL – Serge Aurier at Tottenham; Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal; Franck Kessie at AC Milan; and Manchester United pair Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo. Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would also miss out if world football’s governing body Fifa follows up on previous statements that any players who appear in an ESL would be banned from international tournaments such as the World Cup. As it stands, a total of 13 African nations could lose players. Senegal could potentially lose out on three players in Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy of Chelsea, and Moussa Wague – on the books at Barcelona, though currently on loan at Greek side PAOK Salonika.
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