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Rising Newcastle star gets first international call-up

7 years ago

Only yesterday I wrote a piece about potentially three Newcastle stars missing up to six weeks of Premier League in the new year, with Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and possibly Mehdi Abeid heading off to the African Cup of Nations.

Then within hours it has been announced that Abeid has got his first international call up to the full national squad.

The article was mainly about whether Morocco would still agree to host the tournament in light of their fears about the Ebola virus spreading, but I wrote this about Abeid;

However, the last week has seen the interesting emergence of Mehdi Abeid into the Newcastle first team, starring against both Liverpool and Manchester City.

Abeid played junior football for France but then committed to Algeria, playing for them at Under 23 level.

It would be naive to think that Abeid playing so well against big hitters such as Liverpool and Man City will have gone unnoticed by the national set-up in Algeria.

Having already qualified for the African Cup of Nations with four wins out of four, Algeria may well see it as an ideal opportunity to have a look at Mehdi Abeid when they play their final two qualifiers against Ethiopia (15 November) and Mali (19 November). With every chance of him being included in their squad for the finals if he impresses as an up and coming player.

No sooner said than done! With Senegal and Ivory Coast’s hopes of qualifying depending on the final two qualifiers they each face, ironically Mehdi Abeid could be Newcastle’s only representative in Morocco (or wherever else it may be held).

As to whether Morocco will host the tournament which runs from 17th January to 8th February, they have been given until this Saturday (8th November) to confirm whether they will host the African Cup of Nations finals.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have refused to contemplate any postponement and have said Morocco must decide before Saturday whether they will agree to still host it.

In the meantime the CAF have sounded out seven other so far unnamed countries to be emergency hosts, though several of these have already declined.


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