(Reuters) - Goalkeeper Maurice Gomis completed an unusual family feat on Thursday as he joined his two elder brothers as a participants at the Africa Cup of Nations finals, but for a different country.
Gomis was named in Guinea Bissau’s 24-man squad for the tournament in Cameroon, where brother Alfred will also be participating – but for Senegal.
Their elder brother Lys Gomis was a back-up goalkeeper for Senegal at the 2015 finals.
Lys, now 32, and Alfred, 28, were born in Ziguinchor, Senegal, not far from the border with Guinea Bissau. Maurice was born in Cuneo, in northern Italy, where their father Charles had found work as an asphalt layer.
All three started their respective careers in the academy at Serie A outfit Torino.
Alfred was called up for Italy’s under-20 side but never played before declaring for Senegal, who took him to the 2018 World cup and the 2019 Cup of Nations finals, where he took over as first choice goalkeeper after Edouard Mendy was injured and helped the country all the way to the final.
While injury has brought Lys' career to an end, after a single appearance in Serie A, Alfred has gone onto play at top flight football in both Italy and France. He is now with Stade Rennes in Ligue 1.
Maurice, 24, was a teenage prodigy at Torino but eventually did not make the grade, dropping to Serie C before going onto clubs in Albania and Cyprus.
He has taken the nationality of his mother, originally from Guinea Bissau, and was called up for the first time for the World Cup qualifying campaign in September.
It is the first case of brothers representing two different countries at the same Cup of Nations finals.
But siblings appearing for different countries is not new.
France World Cup winner Paul Pogba has two brothers who have won caps for Guinea. Elder brother Florentin was selected for the upcoming Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon but has been forced to pull out because of injury.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, half brothers Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng lined up at opposite ends when Ghana played Germany.