Frederic Kanoute has been informed that he will not be allowed to attend the African Footballer of the Year award ceremony on Friday, if his country Mali qualify for the African Nations Cup quarter-finals.
Mali need a point from their last Group B match against Ivory Coast in Accra on Tuesday to reach the knockout stages.
Coach Jean Francois Jodar has confirmed that Kanoute will not be allowed to attend the event, which is being held in Lome, Togo, 48 hours before the quarter-finals begin on Sunday.
Kanoute is one of three candidates shortlisted for the award, along with Ghana’s Michael Essien and Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba.
“It is crazy to organise a function in the middle of the tournament like this. If the event was held in Accra we would let him go for the night, but to have to travel to Togo, attend the ceremony and then fly back again disrupts our preparations and tires out the player,” Jodar told a news conference.
“If Kanoute goes and Mali lose, then I will be held responsible,” he added.