The worries are piling up for Keita Balde. In poor form since his signing at AS Monaco in 2017, the Senegalese winger has just been suspended until December 5 for not respecting anti-doping rules in Italy. As a result, he is expected to miss the World Cup.
A big setback for Keita Balde! The Senegalese striker who freely joined Spartak Moscow this summer is not injured. But he could miss the next World Cup. While he has not yet played any game with the Russian club, the 2021 African champion is currently suspended until December 5. A suspension pronounced by the Italian Football Federation can be read in a statement from Spartak Moscow.
"Keita Balde has been suspended by the Italian National Anti-Doping Tribunal until December 5 due to a doping violation while playing for Cagliari. A sample taken from Keith that day found no prohibited substances. However, in accordance with the Disciplinary Code, any doping-related sanction imposed by another national or international sports association, national anti-doping organization, is automatically accepted by FIFA and must be recognized by all confederations and associations. Consequently, the sanction applied by the Italian Anti-Doping Organization is subject to recognition by the RFU" writes the Russian club.
The Senegalese can however appeal this decision. In the meantime, he can not join the Senegalese selection. And if the sanction is not lifted, Keita Balde will probably miss the 2022 World Cup which is played in Qatar from November 20 to December 18. Even if his suspension ends on December 5, it is unlikely that Aliou Cissé will select him for this global event, he is no longer essential in the selection.
For some Senegalese observers, Keita Balde did not deserve to be part of the list of Aliou Cissé published this Friday, September 16 for the friendly matches against Bolivia and Iran on September 24 and 27. The last performances of Keita Balde with the Lions was without relief. And at club level, he could not impose himself in a team of Cagliari relegated to Serie B.