Madagascar will attempt to persuade former captain Faneva Ima Andriatsima to come out of retirement for their final two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month after naming him in their squad for the ties against Ethiopia and Niger.
“To increase cohesion and prove that we have a heart and that we are a big family, I decided to call Faneva,” said coach Nicolas Dupuis, whose team are joint leaders with the Ivory Coast in Group K.
“He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m waiting for his response. The (Malagasy Football Federation) executives are all unanimous and have all said to me: ‘Great coach, that is a very good idea’.
“We need him, even if the others are very good. Maybe he will play, maybe he won’t play. But we need him mentally because he is the big brother of all the little locals who are there,” added the coach.
Dupuis named 29 players for the match in Addis Ababa on March 24 and the home encounter against Niger, including locally-based Lalaina Manampisoa, Ando Rakotondrazaka, Doddy Rakotoarisoa, Theodin Ramanjary, Rajo Razafindrabe and Tsito Razafindrasata.
Ethiopia are just one point behind Madagascar in the standings while bottom-placed are also still in mathematical contention.
Although currently injured, Lorient’s Jérémy Morel has been called up but not clubmate Thomas Fontaine, who underwent Achilles tendon surgery in January.
Lalaina Nomenjanahary is also expected to return after injury sustained in the last set of Cup of Nations qualifiers in November
In the goalkeeping department, Barea have restored Reunion based Ibrahim Dabo and will have four goalkeepers for the two qualifiers.
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Bastien Hery from Linfield in Northern Ireland and French-based William Gros have been dropped
Goalkeepers: Melvin Adrien (Martigues, France), Ibrahim Dabo (St-Pierroise, Reunion), Mathias Randriamamy (Paris St Germain, France), Nina Razakanirina (AS Adema)
Defenders: Romain Métanire (Minnesota United, USA), Jérôme Mombris (Grenoble, France), Jérémy Morel (Lorient, France), Sylvio Ouassiero (Fola Esch, Luxembourg), Ando Rakotondrazaka (ELGECO Plus), Theodin Ramanjary (Fosa Juniors), Rayan Raveloson (Troyes, France), Rajo Razafindrabe (Cosfa), Pascal Razakanantenaina (St Pierroise, Reunion)
Midfieders: Ibrahim Amada (Al Markhiya, Qatar), Anicet Andrianantenaina (Ludogorets Razgrad, Bulgaria), Arohasina Andrianarimanana (St Pierroise, Reunion), Dimitry Caloin (Fleury 91, France), Marco Ilaimaharitra (Charleroi, Belgium), Loic Lapoussin (Royal Union St Gilloise, Belgium), Doddy Rakotoarisoa (Jet Kintana), Zotsara Randriambololona (Fleury 91, France)
Forwards: Hakim Abdallah (Swift Hesperange, Luxembourg), Carolus Andriamahitsinoro (Al Qadisiya, Saudi Arabia), Faneva Ima Andriatsima (Al Hamriyah, United Arab Emirates), Lalaina Manampisoa (CS-DFC), Lalaina Nomenjanahary (Paris FC, France), Njiva Rakotoharimalala (unattached), Alexandre Ramalingom (Sedan, France), Tsito Razafindrasata (Jet Kintana), Paulin Voavy (Misr El Makkasa, Egypt).