DAKAR - The parents of star Senegalese striker Mamadou Niang have called for their son to end his self-imposed exile from the national team.
Niang's importance to the side was underlined last week when the Teranga Lions looked lightweight in attack during a goalless draw in an international friendly in Libya.
In May, the Marseille star wrote to the Senegalese federation asking not to be considered for future matches this year, after his disillusionment with preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana earlier this year.
"It's our dearest wish that Mamadou wears the national jersey again, not only to give him pleasure but his fellow citizens too," Hamidou and Diari Mody Niang told a Senegalese TV station.
Niang's exile has been the subject of much recent discussion in the local media following last Wednesday's match in Libya.
With fellow striker Henri Camara off form up front, many supporters are hoping Niang will return to the national team ahead of next month's key World Cup qualifier in Algeria.
"Only God knows if he will play against Algeria and it's something we will discuss when we return to France," said his mother, who is visiting Dakar from her European base.
"But he knows that he needs his country, just as his country needs him."
National coach Lamine Ndiaye has said Niang, who finished second-highest scorer in France last season, can only be selected after he writes a letter to the federation ending his exile.
Many expect Niang to bury the hatchet this week, with Ndiaye set to name his squad for the September 5 clash in Algeria imminently.
Senegal currently top Group 6 of the 2010 Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers with eight points, two clear of second-placed Algeria with just two rounds of matches left.