Ligue 1

Football

Bilel Mohsni slams ‘injustice’ of his Tunisia squad omission

Former Rangers and Dundee United defender Bilel Mohsni has slammed his omission from Tunisia’s 2018 World Cup squad, calling it an “injustice”.

13/06/2018 - 13:30 -

Bilel Mohsni

Former Rangers and Dundee United defender Bilel Mohsni has slammed his omission from Tunisia’s 2018 World Cup squad, calling it an “injustice”.

The 30-year-old centre-back was part of the Carthage Eagles’ preliminary list of 29 players chosen by coach Nabil Maaloul, but last week he was left out of the final 23-man list for the finals in Russia.

Mohsni, who is currently a free agent after leaving Dundee at the end of the 2017/18 season, says the reasons for his omission had “nothing to do with football”.

The French-born defender is quoted by the Daily Record: “It was my dream to be at the World Cup but I just knew I wasn’t going to make it.

“It had nothing to do with football. I am the best defender in Tunisia for sure. I played 14 games in two months for Dundee United but the coach said I wasn’t ready.

“Yet there was one guy picked who only played one first-team game in a whole year. That is injustice.

“Tell me – who is match fit or not? Someone who has played a lot of competitive matches recently or someone else who has just played once.

“When I arrived at the international camp I was full of confidence and even scoring goals.

“After each training session we played 11 versus 11 and I won most of those games. All of the players knew I was the best defender there.

“They obviously couldn’t speak out but knew I should have been in the 23-man squad at least.

“They were so shocked. How come I hadn’t played for so long before going to Dundee United but was still better than them?

“We were doing 15-second sprints and I was finishing them in 10 seconds. They were just looking at me and thinking, ‘Wow’.

“The problem was the coach just didn’t give me my chance. We had two friendlies – for one I was on the bench against Portugal and for the other I was in the stand against Turkey.

“He knew if I got the chance he wouldn’t be able to take me out of the team. I saw it with my own eyes.

“There were lots of funny things going on. I knew from the second week there it wasn’t going to happen.

“It’s because I wasn’t born in Tunisia and am not a fan of one of the big four clubs in the country.

“Those clubs have a lot of power in the national team. Nobody helped me get to where I am now in my career.

“When I was younger I was frustrated because so many managers and chairmen blocked me from going to the very top and it’s happened again.

“Now I just need to pick myself up and get my career going again.

“I know I can play at a high level so I have to just get over this disappointment.

“Teams in France and the Bundesliga in Germany told me they would sign me if I got to 23-man squad for the World Cup. But it all changed because I didn’t get there.”


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