Eric Bailly ruled out of Africa Cup of Nations

Bailly sustained a medial ligament damage
Manchester United’s Ivorian defender Eric Bailly (C) goes off with an injury during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /

Ivory Coast’s defender Eric Bailly will miss the Africa Cup of Nations after he suffered a knee injury in an English Premier League match against Chelsea.

Bailly sustained medial ligament damage in a collision with Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic in the second half of Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

The 25-year-old who had not started a league match since February 3, will be sidelined for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on June 21 in Egypt.

Bailly’s football club, Manchester United, put out a statement, confirming his absence from the 2019 AFCON: “Furthermore, Bailly is also now unable to play in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament.”

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Ivory Coast were drawn in a group featuring Morocco, South Africa and Namibia.

The Ivorians will also be without Sol Bamba, after he damaged his knee ligaments while in action for his English Premier League side, Cardiff City.

The loss of two major defenders after being drawn in a very competitive group means the Elephants face a tough task if they must make it past the group stage of the tournament.

The 2015 AFCON Champions are not among the top 10 national teams in Africa. They have maintained the 11th position from the February’s FIFA rankings.

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