Damba Ba And Tiote Could Miss Up To Four Games

Demba Ba hopes Newcastle fans will understand why he has to go off in January to play for Senegal in the African Cup of  Nations.

Demba Ba – playing for Senegal

That competition is similar to the European Championships, but the big difference is the African Cup of Nations has been held every two years since 1968, and the European Championships, like the World Cup,  is every four years.

It is held in January, during the Premier League season, simply because that’s when the temperatures in Africa are at their lowest, and in January it will be the 28th edition of the tournament, and will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Why isn’t it every four years like the other major Championships?

The competition takes place from January 21st,  and the final is played on 12th February, with the players reporting to their squads a week before the tournament commences.

Senegal have never won the Championship, although they were runners up in 2002, and Ba had this to say today to Newcastle fans:

“I understand why Newcastle supporters are disappointed that I will be away for a few weeks at the African Cup of Nations, but I hope they also understand why it is so important to me to play in it,” 

“Senegal is my nation and back home in Senegal, it would mean so much to the people if we were to do well in the competition.”

“Playing for your country is still one of the biggest honors in the game, and when it is in a major tournament, it is even more special.”

“I want to go there and try to help my team-mates and my country win the competition.”

“Next summer, everyone over here will be getting excited about England playing in the European Championships. Well this is the same for us.”

“It is exactly the same importance, it is just unfortunate that it happens during the Premier League season. It is a shame I will have to miss some Newcastle games.”

If Demba Ba leaves to join the squad on 14th January and Senegal reach the final he will miss the following Newcastle games, as will Cheick Tiote if the Ivory Coast reach the final:


Sun 15	13:30	H    QPR
Sat 21	15:00	A    Fulham


Wed 01	20:00	A    Blackburn
Sat 04	15:00	H    Aston Villa
Sat 11	15:00	A    Tottenham

And there could also be the 4th round of the FA Cup in there,  if we get through the 3rd round in early January.

You would hope that Ba and Tiote  can play in the QPR game at home before they take off to join their squads, and if that’s true, they will miss only 4 games in the league.

That’s not too bad, as long as both players  return uninjured from the tournament.

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Stuart

    Nov 9, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #1

    Not exactly the worst games for them to be missing like. Only really Spurs and whoever we draw in the FA cup 4th round to worry about.

  • Graeme

    Nov 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #2

    You can’t blame a player for wanting to play for his country, its the top of the tree for them!!

    Just hope they come back in one piece and able to play for the TOOOON. No doubt, if we get our expected players in at the start of the Transfer Window, it would make our life just a little bit easier!!!

    Hopefully we will still be up there, pushing for a place in Europe for next season – that would be a fantastic achievement for the team.

  • listie

    Nov 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #3

    We always knew it was going to happen, knowing our luck, it will be Senegal vs Ivory Cost in the final !


    Nov 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #4

    Knowing the excellent players senegal & ivory coast have got it most likely will be those 2 in the final.

  • Sav

    Nov 9, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #5

    On the contary, those are the games we can score some decent points from IF we have a full healthy squad. Those are winnable games but we are nowhere near good enough to rely on winning them with star players missing. I’d rather we were playing Chelesea, Arsenal and the Mancs then when, chances are, we’d be looking to grind out a draw at best anyway.

  • cupiddstunt

    Nov 9, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #6

    Got to agree Sav I think it would have been better to have been playing the two mancs and chelski as they might have had less impact on the points we might get over all.


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