Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

They Would Kill Me

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

They Would Kill Me

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

Newcastle United midfielder Amady Faye has revealed that failure to show up for his country in the African Cup of Nations next month could cost him his life.

The Senegal international fears that the fanatical supporters of the Terenga Lions would never forgive him if he ignored his inevitable call-up for the January competition which will see him miss up to a month of Premiership action for United.

The Toon anchor man has celebrated a return to form in the last two games against Aston Villa and Arsenal, but will jet off to Egypt after the trip to Fulham on January 14.

Faye said today: "This is very important for my country and if I did not play I think the Senegal fans would want to kill me!"

Faye won't be joined by United team-mate Celestine Babayaro, who has been overlooked by Nigeria due to a stand-off with coach Austin Eguavoen.

The Nigeria chief said this week he has no intention of begging the player, who has failed to answer his country's call after being sent home in the last tournament in 2004.

And Babayaro did not make the 49-man squad selected for a training camp in Portugal ahead of the competition.

Senegal, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany next summer, have been drawn in a tough group and are outsiders to make it to the knockout stages, with Ghana and Nigeria the favourites to go through ahead of Faye's side and Zimbabwe in Group D.

In that case, Faye's earliest return to Tyneside would be after January 31 when Senegal clash with Nigeria in the last Group D game, with the worst case scenario for United being a comeback for the Dakar-born player soon after the February 9 final.

The man who was signed by Graeme Souness for pounds 2m from Portsmouth almost a year ago admitted he was looking forward to the competition that has hounded several Premiership managers in recent seasons.

Faye added: "I missed the last African Nations Cup because of injury and I think if I am fit I will be selected in the squad for the forthcoming competition in Egypt.

"It could also be my last appearance in the competition as an international player, so I am hoping to be involved. …

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