Taha Yassine Khenissi returns to Tunisia squad after drug ban

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Tunisia's Taha Yassine Khenissi in action for EsperanceTunisia and Esperance's Taha Yassine Khenissi was banned for a doping violation

Tunisia have recalled Taha Yassine Khenissi for their upcoming World Cup play-off games as the forward returns from a ban for failing a drug test.

The Carthage Eagles will travel to play Mali on 25 March with the second leg of the tie four days later in Rades, with the overall winners earning a place at the World Cup finals in Qatar later this year.

Khenissi, 30, was handed a year-long ban by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in June but that was later reduced to six months.

As a result of the ban the Kuwait SC player missed Tunisia's Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon, he missed the 2018 World Cup due to injury.

The last of Khenissi's 41 caps came back in November 2019 against Equatorial Guinea in a Nations Cup qualifier.

New coach Jalel Kadri, who replaced Mondher Kebaier after his sacking following the Nations Cup, has also recalled Club Africain's Nader Ghandri and Turkey-based Mortadha Ben Wannas after two-year absences.

Ferjani Sassi and Saad Beguir also return to the squad after missing out on going to the Nations Cup finals in Cameroon, where Tunisia reached the quarter-finals.

Tunisia squad to face Mali:

Goalkeepers: Ayman Dahman (CS Sfaxien), Moez Hassen (Club Africain), Ali Jmal (Etoile du Sahel), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir).

Defenders: Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Dylan Bronn (Metz, France), Oussama Haddadi (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey) Nader Ghandri ( Club Africain), Ali Abdi (Caen, France) Mohamed Drager (Lucerne, Switzerland), Hamza Mathlouthi (Zamalek, Egypt), Bilel Ifa (Club Abha, Saudi Arabia), Montassar Talbi (Rubin Kazan, Russia).

Midfielders: Ghailene Chaalali (Esperance), Ellyes Skhiri (Köln, Germany), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby, Denmark), Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United, England) Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros, Hungary), Ferjeni Sassi (AL Duhail, Qatar), Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Esperance).

Forwards: Taha Yassine Khenissi (Kuwait SC, Kuwait), Issam jbali (Odense, Denmark) ,Mortadha Ben Wannes (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek, Egypt), Wahbi Khazri (Saint-Etienne, France), Naim Sliti (Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia)), Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi, Qatar), Saad Bguir (Club Abha, Saudi Arabia).

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