Sankara on Standby for Afcon 2017

Bloemfontein Celtic defender Robert Sankara has been left out of a 24-man preliminary squad named by Burkina Faso for the upcoming African Nations Cup finals in Gabon.

Burkina Faso, who share the same World Cup group with South Africa and scored a late equaliser in October to hold Bafana to a 1-1 draw in Ouagadougou, must cut one player from the squad for their final selection for the tournament in Gabon, where they share their opening round group with the hosts, Cameroon and Guinea Bissau.

Injury has ruled out Aziz Kabore, who plays for Valenciennes in France, but called up for the first time is Blati Toure, who was born in the Ivory Coast.

He is one of three uncapped players along with Morocco-based defender Ernest Aboubacar Congo, called up for the first time for last month’s World Cup qualifier against the Cape Verde Islands, and striker Issoumaila Lingane of Hapoel Ashkelon in Israel.

Besides Aziz Kabore, the most significant absence is first choice goalkeeper Daouda Diakite, who was seriously injured three months ago playing for AS Vita Club in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Diakite previously played at Free State Stars.

In the squad, named by coach Paulo Duarte, is the veteran striker Aristide Bance, who had a six-month spell at Chippa United last season.

‘Les Etalons’ will depart Ouagadougou on 27 December for a camp in Marrakech where they play a Morocco B team on 4 January and Mali on either 7 or 8 January.

Burkina Faso meet Cameroon in Libreville in their first group A game on the opening day of the Nations Cup finals on 14 January.

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