Levante will be without midfielder Pape Diop for this Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off against Deportivo thanks to a mix-up with his national side.
The player was called up to Senegal for their midweek match away to Niger but missed the match and was reported to FIFA by the Senegalese FA for being absent without leave.
The game’s governing body have subsequently handed the player a five-day suspension from all football as punishment.
Levante confirmed the news themselves via a statement on their official website, in which they also looked to explain the situation.
Los Granotes posted that Diop was ‘timely and justified the reasons for his absence’, and that he was suffering from a groin strain.
“[Diop] even got tickets to fly out to Paris where he was to explain this to the Coach. As he was leaving, the Coach himself informed the player that his teammates were already in Niger. Our footballer sought to find a new flight out but they no longer had a time until four in the morning of the match,” read the statement posted this afternoon.
“As there was more than 10 hours for the flight, the Coach told him not to worry and to send the relevant documentation to justify his absence and that the matter would be solved.
“Still, the federation of the country sent a report to FIFA for the absence of various players, and Diop, who had established his injury and that he had followed the instructions of their Coach and President, has received this harsh and unjustified punishment.”
The player also commented on the situation in the same statement.
“I am sorry that I cannot help my teammates tomorrow. The president asked me only to send my accredited paperwork to Paris and I sent them, like the medical reports justifying my injury.
“It is a surprise that the federation has not wanted to protect me and called this off, which would have avoided this punishment.”