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Madagascar excited for first CHAN appearance despite controversial departure of key player

Madagascar ‘A’ national team coach Romuald Rakotondrabe and his squad arrived in Tunisia on Monday to begin final preparations for the island country’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) debut in Algeria later this month. The Barea defeated Seychelles and Botswana to qualify for the competition out of the COSAFA region but will face a much more difficult challenge in Group C against the likes of Sudan, Ghana and perhaps defending champions Morocco. Rakotondrabe called in a 23-player squad with one more player expected to join up with the team next week and Madagascar will face Niger and Republic of Congo in friendly matches during their stay in Tunisia.

There has already been some controversy within the team. Striker Tsilavina Fanomezantsoa, popularly known as “Drogba” and the scorer of three of Madagascar’s six goals in qualifying, abruptly left the team’s training camp in Madagascar after an argument with Rakotondrabe and is not with the team in Tunisia. As a result the Malagasy team appears less formidable in the attack but there is plenty of experience in the squad that is mostly populated by players from top clubs Fosa Juniors and Elgeco Plus.

Tantely Randrianiana and Ando Rakotondrazaka are veteran defenders who were leaders on the 2022 COSAFA Cup team with 35-year-old Rakotondrazaka acting as the captain. Manager Rakotondrabe will count on 31-year-old  former Kaizer Chiefs midfield playmaker Andriamirado Andrianarimanana, best known as “Dax”, to provide service for the team’s forwards. Marcio Carlos Ravelomanantsoa is likely to lead the forward line in place of the exiled Fanomezantsoa after scoring the winning goal in qualifying against Botswana.

The full list of players is below followed by more on the team from Malagasy media and CAF Online.

Barea looking to light up CHAN debut (CAF Online)


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