Mali coach Eric Chelle has revealed that Tottenham midfielder Yves Bissouma battled Malaria during the team’s AFCON campaign.
Yves Bissouma, along with defender Moussa Diarra, played through the tournament with Malaria. Despite their efforts, Mali suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat against Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals, with Ivory Coast scoring an equalizer in the 90th minute and securing the winner in the 121st minute of extra time.
Speaking to reporters, Chelle said: “You know Yves and Moussa were suffering from malaria, regarding the blood tests. It’s not so serious, because someone born in West Africa is used to malaria, he could play but for Moussa it was different. It was the first time he contracted malaria, so he started some light training. We’ll take things carefully, but there’s no outbreak or anything.”
The quarter-final encounter concluded with contentious incidents as Mali players protested against the referee after the match. Three players received red cards during the game, beginning with Ivory Coast’s Odilon Kossounou, who was sent off just before halftime for receiving two yellow cards.
In the latter stages of the game, Oumar Diakite received a second yellow card for removing his shirt while celebrating the winning goal, and Mali’s Hamari Traore was also shown a red card for protesting against the match officials.
The 23-year-old midfielder will now redirect his attention to his club responsibilities with Spurs, contingent on receiving a clean bill of health. He could potentially return to the pitch next Saturday when Ange Postecoglou’s side takes on Brighton in the Premier League.