Former Liverpool star Sadio Mane marries teenage bride after arranged marriage in Senegal

Former Liverpool star Sadio Mane appeared to have a traditional arranged marriage to his teenage wife but the pair never dated, his father-in-law has revealed.

Mane, 31, tied the knot with Aissata Tamba, 18, in a secret ceremony in Keur Massar, in Dakar, just days before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, The Sun reports.

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The happy couple were pictured smiling following the low-key ceremony in Senegal which was attended by close friends and family.

The pair met through Mane’s agent who was friends with Aisha’s construction boss dad when she was 16, it has emerged.

Aisha’s dad Amadou Tamba said the pair was introduced “more than two years ago” but clarified his daughter is now 18 years old amid conflicting reports she is 19.

The couple is thought to have kept their relationship secret before their wedding but Mr Tamba also said they never dated before getting married.

He told local Univers Info: “My wife and Aisha visited their (Mane’s) family one day, and this is where he met her for the first time.

“He probably saw something special in her and his parents appreciated her as well. They came to see me.

“We discussed as per the tradition, agreed on everything and waited for this day to happen.

“They were not dating because Aisha was still young.”

The marriage was reportedly agreed when Aisha was still at school but both families decided to wait until she reached 18 – with Mane taking care of her bills.

Mr Tamba, a constructor, added: “With the values and all that she heard about him, she accepted voluntarily. But as parents we also guided and advised her to freely make up her mind. God did what’s best for her.”

And friends of the family said Aisha’s dad is good friends with Mane’s uncle, who acted as a go-between between the two families for a formal marriage proposal to be made.

The couple were introduced after her constructor dad Madou Tamba met with Sadio’s agent Bacary Cisse for a project.

The ex-Bayern Munich footballer has funded a number of charitable construction projects in his hometown Bambali, including a school, a health centre, a post office and most recently a small football stadium.

He has also provided laptops for the school, a 4G network for the entire community and £60 (70 euros) a month for every family in his old neighbourhood.

The pair, who are from the same area in Senegal are seen grinning in photos surrounded by friends and family during the ceremony in Dakar.

Snaps of the wedding were shared on Instagram and received more than 85,000 likes in less than 24 hours.

Unlike her sports star spouse, Aisha appears to remain out of the spotlight and has no presence on social media.

Speaking to local media following the wedding, Sadio admitted he was overjoyed after receiving so many congratulations.

“Honestly, I am happy [with] the fact the president has congratulated me just as much as, well, I would say not just my teammates,” he said.

“I think that all the people have congratulated me and wished me [luck] so I am happy and I hope that it’ll be okay.”

Mane also made light of jokes surrounding his marriage to his 18-year-old bride as Senegal’s president Macky Sall received the national squad ahead of AFCON.

“First of all, I would like to warmly congratulate our national Nianthi, Sadio Mane, who has just got married,” Sall said.

“I called him up so that we could applaud him and wish him a happy marriage.

“May God bless your home and your descendants. From now on you have another job apart from scoring goals.”

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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