Senegal’s football team was knocked out of the World Cup in Russia under a new tiebreaker rule, on discipline called ‘fair play’.
“We are so disappointed. We really wanted Senegal win this match. It really hurts.”
Nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, they are the first country to be eliminated by the discipline and the last of 5 African teams to exit the competition.Retired football player Mbaye Badji blames limited funding and lack of practice for African teams poor performance at the games.
“Look at Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, these are all teams with experience. They each have at least 5 players who already participated in a World Cup.”
Hopes were high for Senegal, after a defeated Poland and tied with Japan, despite lost Colombia.But under the fair play rule, Senegal is eliminated for having more yellow cards than Japan.Senegal’s football federation has asked FIFA to reconsider the new regulation, which some argue does not accurately judge a team based on their skills.
“Technically and physically, Africa is ready. And I still trust we will be able to achieve something in the years to come.”
The defeat in Russia is only the second time Senegal qualified for the World Cup.In 2002 they shocked the world by defeating France in the opening game and going all the way to the quarterfinals. Senegal football fans maintain high hopes that players can one day get there again and perhaps make a drive for World Cup title.Sofia Christensen for VOA News Dakar.