Boufal blow for Morocco
Morocco have confirmed that Southampton midfielder Sofiane Boufal will miss the Africa Cup of Nations squad because of an injury.
The 23-year-old Paris-born star had been expected to play a key role in his nation's bid to win the tournament for the first time in 1976, especially as midfielders Younes Belhanda, Oussame Tannane and Nordin Amrabat of Watford had already withdrawn from the squad.
However, the Morocco national team have released a statement to confirm that Boufal would not be fit to participate and he will now return to Southampton for treatment.
No details of the injury to Boufal, who joined the Saints from French Ligue 1 outfit Lille in the summer for a reported fee of £16 million, were disclosed.
The statement read: "Boufal has left after examination of his injury showed he would not be capable of playing."
Morocco will face Finland in a friendly on Tuesday before their tournament gets under way in Gabon with a game against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Oyem on 16th January.
Morocco are 6/1 to win the Africa Cup of Nations, while the Ivory Coast are 1212/1.
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