There’s good news and bad news about Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Yves Bissouma this morning. The good news is that Yves started for Mali yesterday in their opening match in the Africa Cup of Nations, a solid 2-0 win over South Africa in Group E. Bissouma played 58 minutes before being substituted for Saleritana midfielder Lassana Coulibaly.
The bad news is that, according to a Malian journalist, he was sick with malaria during that match.
Yves était malade. Il a fait Palu. Idem pour Moussa Diarra raison pour laquelle il était en tribune.— Drissa Niono (@drissaniono) January 16, 2024
Quand il va retrouver sa santé. Vous allez le voir à son meilleur niveau.
Soyez le une meilleure santé. pic.twitter.com/YTCPbWGggn
Yves was ill. He had Palu [malaria]. Ditto for Moussa Diarra, why he was in the stands. When he gets healthy again. You will see him at his best. Be the healthiest.
So assuming this report is accurate (and there’s no real reason to think it isn’t), uh, that’s not great. But it’s also probably not anything to be overly concerned about. A quick google states that malaria usually results in flu-like symptoms and with quick treatment someone so afflicted can recover within 1-2 weeks. Honestly, I’m more impressed that if he DOES have malaria Yves felt good enough to start and play the majority of the match while presumably feeling like poop.
This was a good win for Mali. Group E looked to be one of the most competitive in the competition, with Mali and Tunisia likely joint favorites but South Africa predicted to be a dark horse to exit the group. You can watch the highlights in the header above.
Mali’s next match is this Saturday against Tunisia. Hopefully Bissouma is feeling better by that point.