Senegal have twice appeared in the Afcon final before without winning the event, in 2002 and 2019

The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) has decided not to schedule warm-up friendlies for the 2022 World Cup-bound African champions in June to allow players to benefit from “a suitable rest period”.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) had spread out the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying dates to accommodate plans by Africa’s five representatives at this year’s World Cup to squeeze some friendly matches into the upcoming two-week international window.

While Qatar-bound Morocco, Tunisia and Ghana have arranged friendlies in the United States and Japan between 30 May and 14 June, fellow qualifiers Cameroon and Senegal opted not to.

“The FSF informs the public it has decided to postpone the organisation of an international friendly match during the Fifa window,” FSF said in a statement.

“This decision was taken to allow prospective Senegalese international players to go on vacation earlier than planned.

“[They will] be able to benefit from a suitable rest period before resuming club competitions from September, then with our national team for the preparation and participation of Senegal in the World Cup.”

Moving two Nations Cup qualifiers away from June by Caf was to allow space for two friendly matches to be arranged – or for players to be rested.

September’s international window, when African sides are set to play two more Nations Cup qualifiers, is the last one available before national teams name their World Cup squads.

Clubs then have to release players on 14 November, a week before the first group matches in Qatar.

Senegal, who clinched the 2021 Nations Cup by beating Egypt on penalties in the final in Cameroon in February, will face Benin, Mozambique and Rwanda in Group L as they seek to defend their crown in Ivory Coast.

The Teranga Lions will host Benin on 4 June in Dakar before an away fixture against Rwanda three days later.

Elsewhere, Cameroon are now set to only play one game in June after Kenya were removed from Nations Cup qualifiers because of a ban by world governing body Fifa.

The Indomitable Lions were due to play the East Africans in a Group C encounter in Douala on 4 June.

Source: BBC