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Mali coach Henri Stambouli is adamant that Frederic Kanoute will play for him at this month’s Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

French-born Kanoute is eligible fto play for Mali due to his father, but the player’s club Tottenham are attempting to prevent thim representing his adopted country.

“Kanoute will play with us in Tunisia, that is certain,” Stambouli told the BBC.

“I understand why Tottenham are desperate to keep him, why they are trying everything, but it will be in vain.

“FIFA is with us, and the rules are with us.”

A rule change introduced by FIFA, means that players with dual nationality who are not full internationals can opt to play for either country, even if they have already represented one of the nations at junior level.

“There are many players in his situation, it is not just Kanoute,” Strambouli added.

“When I was coach of Sedan I lost Salif Diao, Henri Camara and Moussa Ndiaye to Senegal, and Pius Ndiefi to Cameroon, for the last Nations Cup.

“I just got on with it, and Tottenham should do the same. Stambouli is convinced Kanoute will be a major asset to his side inTunisia.

“He’s such a good player, he scores goals and has great quality.

“He’s a good team player too, and has been a pleasure to deal with in my contacts with him.

“I think (playing in the Nations Cup) will be good for him, and I think he will fit in well in our squad,” Stambouli added.

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