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Geoffrey Kondogbia made to wait for CAR debut

By Oluwashina Okeleji

Valencia defender Geoffrey Kondogbia will have to wait to make his debut for Central African Republic due to injury.

Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia was an unused substitute for France in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belarus

The 25-year-old had to withdraw from coach Raoul Savoy’s 23-man squad for the game in Guinea on 9 September.

Kondogbia chose to switch allegiances from to CAR after playing five times for the French senior team and helping them win the 2013 Under-20 World Cup.

As all those appearances have been in friendlies meaning he can still swap to CAR with Fifa permission.

He holds dual nationality and has not played for France in a competitive fixture, making him eligible for the Wild Beasts – once his application has been approved by Fifa.

CAR will count themselves lucky as Kondogbia was an unused substitute when France played a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belarus in September 2013.

If he had come onto the pitch at all he would have been ineligible to play for CAR.

Kondgobia, whose older brother Evans has five caps for CAR, had been expected to join up with his prospective teammates this week in the Senegalese seaside resort of Saly.

Savoy has called up unattached France-born striker Quentin Ngakoutou as a late replacement for Kondogbia, who has swiftly reassured the Swiss coach of his availability for the double-header against Ivory Coast in October.

Kondogbia began his professional career at Lens, before switching to Spanish club Sevilla in July 2012, stints at Monaco and Inter Milan followed ahead of a move to Valencia in August 2017.

Meanwhile, another former France youth international Frederic Nimani, who plays for Swiss club Xamax, has been cleared by Fifa and is expected to make his debut against the Group H leaders on Sunday.

CAR are second in the group after they beat visiting Rwanda 2-1 in the opening group fixture in June 2017. Guinea remain top on goal difference after a 3-2 away win in Ivory Coast. BBC.