Football World Cup: Senegal star Sadio Mane withdrawn tournament with leg injury

Sadio Mane injured, while playing for Bayern Munich
Sadio Mane injured, while playing for Bayern Munich. Photo credit: Getty Images

In a crushing blow to his team's chances, Senegal forward Sadio Mane has been ruled out of the World Cup in Qatar, with officials confirming he needs surgery on a leg injury sustained in the run-up to the tournament.

Mane was doubtful for the west African side, after injuring his right fibula playing for German club Bayern Munich.

"Unfortunately, the MRI shows us that the recovery is not as favourable as we hoped and we unfortunately resolve to declare Sadio's withdrawal from the World Cup," said Senegal team doctor Manuel Afonso.

The forward has been crucial to the recent success of Senegal, who are regarded as Africa's best hope at the World Cup.

His absence will be a blow to their chances of advancing out of Group A, where they face the Netherlands on Tuesday (NZ time), before playing host nation Qatar and Ecuador.

Mane has been the team's talisman, scoring the winning penalty at the Africa Cup of Nations final in Cameroon in February and securing World Cup qualification six weeks later. On both occasions, they edged out Egypt on post-match penalties.

Mane, 30, has twice been named African Footballer of the Year.