Tunisia squad heavy with Etoile Sahel players

January 12, 2008

TUNIS, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Players from African champions Etoile Sahel dominate the final aquad selection for Tunisia for the African Nations Cup finals, with eight chosen by coach Roger Lemerre for the upcoming tournament in Ghana.

The French-born coach called up 12 home-based players for his 23-man squad, released by the Tunisian Football Federation on Friday.

Lemerre, who led Tunisia to success in the 2004 Nations Cup finals, left out defender Tijani Belaid, who was involved in a car crash at the start of the month.

The Slavia Prague player had been expected to recover from minor injuries from the crash which left three other people dead.

Tunisia have been drawn in Group D with Angola, Senegal and South Africa. Their opening match is against Senegal in Tamale on Jan. 23.

Goalkeepers: Hamdi Kasraoui (Esperance), Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile Sahel), Adel Nefzi (Club Africain)

Defenders: Wissem Abdi (Zamalek), Wissem Bekri (Esperance), Sabeur Ben Frej, Radhouane Felhi, Seif Ghezal (all Etoile Sahel), Karim Hagui (Bayer Leverkusen), Radhi Jaidi (Birmingham City, England), Mehdi Meriah (Etoile Sahel), Chaker Zouaghi (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Midfielders: Chaouki Ben Saada (Bastia), Yassine Mikari (Grasshoppers Zurich), Joahar Mnari (Nuremburg), Mehdi Nafti (Birmingham City), Mejdi Traoui (Etoile Sahel), Kamel Zaiem (Esperance)

Strikers: Mehdi Ben Dhifallah, Amine Chermiti (both Etoile Sahel), Yacine Chikhaoui (FC Zurich), Francileudo dos Santos (Toulouse), Issam Jomaa (Caen).