Scottish sides lose stars to AFCON and Asian Cup

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Hibernian's Martin Boyle and Celtic's Reo HatateHibernian's Martin Boyle and Celtic's Reo Hatate will miss game in January and February

Scottish clubs are braced to lose key players over the next few weeks after squads were confirmed for January's Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Nearly a dozen players from the Scottish Premiership will be taking part in the Asian Cup with Celtic the heaviest hit, reflecting the increased number of Asian-born players in their squad in recent years.

And more players will be heading to training camps from the end of December ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations kick-off.

The tournaments overlap with the winter break in the Premiership, meaning teams will miss out on players through January and February, including the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

Japanese players Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate are included, while Oh Hyeon-gyu and Yang Hyun-jun were among the 26 names picked by South Korean national coach Jurgen Klinsmann for his squad.

Oh, who has scored five goals in 20 appearances for Brendan Rodgers' side this season, mainly from the bench.

Celtic fringe player Marco Tilio has also been called up for the competition by Australia coach Graham Arnold, who has a strong Scottish Premiership contingent in his 26-man pool.

Martin Boyle and Lewis Miller have been called up from Hibernian, while Nathan Atkinson and Kye Rowles were selected from Hearts, and Kyle Baccus joins up from St Mirren.

Roberto NditiForfar's Roberto Nditi is among Tanzania's squad players for AFCON

Among the big surprises in the AFCON squads is Forfar Athletic defender Roberto Nditi, who has been called up by Tanzania.

Rocky Bushiri has been included in the 24-man DR Congo squad, and Jojo Wollacott of Hibs will be with Ghana, but Aberdeen striker Luis 'Duk' Lopes is an unexpected omission from the Cape Verde squad.

Senegal international forward Abdallah Sima is heading for the Ivory Coast but will be available for Rangers' final game before the Premiership winter break, against Kilmarnock on Tuesday.

The Asian Cup, which is being held in Qatar, runs from 12 January to 10 February 2024, while the Africa Cup of Nations - being staged in the Ivory Coast - takes place from 13 January to 11 February.

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