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Red Tape: Sadio Mane Misses Out On Senegalese Celebration

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The Liverpool striker and African Player of the Year will make up the trip as soon as possible.

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Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Air travel, am I right? Long security lines. People packed in like sardines. Some asshole holding up the entire line by trying to fit a clearly oversized bag into the overhead bins. You know, the usual.

Or sometimes, you’re a wealthy footballer with a private jet, having just won African Player of the Year and wanting to celebrate with your home country, and Tunisia denies your flight clearance through their airspace.

It happens.

Or rather, it happened to Sadio Mane, who fell victim to this exact bureaucratic nonsense, meaning he missed out on the Senegalese celebrations for now.

Mane spoke about the disappointment of missing out on what promised to be quite the hero’s reception in a statement released by Liverpool’s official website.

“I am of course very happy and proud to win this award and I want to dedicate it to everyone who has helped me on my journey from the very beginning,” Mane said.

“It was my plan to first fly to Senegal to thank the people of my country and recognize them for everything they have given me on my journey, but unfortunately we were unable to make the visit.

“Now we have a big match against Tottenham this weekend which I must focus on and be ready for, but it is true I am disappointed I was unable to return home to say thank you because of some problems beyond our control.”

It is no doubt frustrating for Mane, but I reckon Jurgen Klopp will find a suitable time in the near future for him to return to Senegal—hopefully without the third party intervention. Mane certainly seems to be under the same impression, ending his statement with a promise to make it up to his countrymen.

“I will return to Senegal as soon as possible because it is something very important to me – I will never forget what everybody did for me, everybody who believed in me and everybody who gave me the chance to play football.”