Benin coach Michel Dussuyer has been forced to recall captain Stephane Sessegnon, who has been without a club for several months, after he saw at least 10 call-ups drop out of the AFCON qualifiers against the Super Eagles and Sierra Leone.
Former Fulham, Sunderland and West Brom star Sessegnon, 37, was not on the original squad for the AFCON qualifiers, but has had to return to international duty after as many as 10 overseas-based call-ups dropped out due to travel restrictions caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The absentees are Steve Mounié, Jodel Dossou, Cédric Hountondji, Saturnin Allagbé, Sessi d’Almeida, Matteo Ahlinvi, Youssouf Assogba (France), Olivier Verdon, David Kiki (Bulgaria) and Rudy Gestede (Australia).
Local reports now say Benin will have to count on the likes of Rodrigue Kossi, Nabil Yarou, Marcellin Koukpo, Mama Seibou, Adenon Khaled, Jacques Bessan, Michaël Poté, Anaan Tidjani, Jérôme Bonou, Koukou Djiman, Fabien Farnolle, Désiré Sègbé Azankpo, Arsène Loko as well as some players from the local league.
A rescheduled press conference Thursday was cancelled as Dussuyer simply forwarded his new squad list to the Benin Football Federation without any explanations for his selections.
Benin will qualify for the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon with a win over Super Eagles on March 27 in Porto-Novo.
They have seven points from four matches, a point behind leaders Nigeria.