Senegal will be missing star forward Keita Balde Diao when they face Equatorial Guinea in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday after they sent his call-up information to Inter Milan's old email address.
The outdated information means Inter weren't told of the call-up and now refuse to let Keita join up with his national team. Abdoulaye Sow, vice president of the Senegalese FA, released a statement (h/t GianlucaDiMarzio.com):
"We have sent an email to Inter to inform them of the summoned player, but it was sent to the old email address that Internazionale Milano no longer uses. They changed their address. At the current moment, the player can not leave and can not be called to join us. His club is uncompromising."
Senegal are joint-leaders of qualifying Group A alongside Madagascar, and both have secured their places in the final tournament. However, it looks like it will come down to the last game to decide who wins the pool, with only two matches remaining in the campaign.
Milanese journalist Tancredi Palmeri highlighted just how odd the clerical error was:
The Lions of Teranga are fortunate to be somewhat blessed in the attacking department, but the likes of Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr and M'Baye Niang may not appreciate the added pressure.
That's particularly the case when Keita's absence could have been so easily avoided, but Inter will welcome the mistake. The former Lazio forward joined Inter on loan in the summer and will return to parent club AS Monaco in the summer unless the Nerazzurri decide to trigger the purchase option in his contract.
He's started only three times in 13 appearances for Luciano Spalletti's side, however, and has looked a far cry from the fast-footed whiz who once impressed for Lazio, per broadcaster Deji Faremi:
Senegal manager Aliou Cisse will consider it fortunate Senegal are already qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations—a mistake such as this would have been far more grave otherwise.
Spanish-born Keita will miss his chance to impress for his country, although the break will also offer him an opportunity to get a head start on his club preparations.