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Boost for Schalke as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting misses Africa Cup of Nations

Schalke have confirmed that forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will miss the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations but will be available for selection for Cameroon in the future, as club corrects initial statement.

Schalke will not lose striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting during the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations as the club had feared.

The club initially released a statement on Tuesday that the Hamburg-born Cameroonian had retired from international football at the age of 27 - but later corrected that statement, confirming he will miss the upcoming tournament but will not be retiring from international football.

This means Choupo-Moting, who moved to Schalke from Mainz in 2014, will head with the Bundesliga club to their training camp in Benidorm in Spain. Schalke, though, will have to do without Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria, as well as the Ghanaians Abdul Rahman Baba and Bernard Tekpetay, who have all been nominated by their national teams for the African tournament, which is to be held between January 14 and February 5.

The Africa Cup of Nations, which is held every two years, is a rare international tournament that forces clubs to go without some of their players during the season - and many teams aren't happy about losing their players for a few weeks.

In a newspaper interview last month, Schalke boss Christian Heidel also expressed his displeasure, questioning why the tournament couldn't be reduced to every four years, like the European championship - and why it couldn't be played in the summer.

"You can play in the summer in Africa too," Heidel said. "It's not like it is 40 degrees everywhere.

pfd/mds (dpa, SID)

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