Senegal FA ask FIFA to revise Fair Play rule

Senegal FA ask FIFA to revise Fair Play rule
Moussa Konate of Senegal reacts after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group H preliminary round soccer match between Senegal and Colombia in Samara, Russia, 28 June 2018. EPA/Tatyana Zenkovich

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Jul 02, 2018. 17:00

After exiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup due to yellow cards accumulated in their group, the Senegalese Football Federation has approached FIFA to amend the Fair Play rule.

The SFF has asked the global football governing body to revise its new fair play ruling which resulted in the Africans' World Cup exit on Thursday, according to the BBC website

Japan and the Lions of Teranga finished level on points, goals scored and goals conceded, but the West Africans became the first team to exit a World Cup because of their disciplinary record.

In their match against Poland, the Japanese played out the final 10 minutes of their game at walking pace despite trailing 1-0 as they were aware of the yellow cards situation.

"In future, FIFA should penalise a team that plays that way," said an FSF official to the BBC.

"FIFA has adopted a new system but does the fair play rule solve all the problems? After the game, nothing happened to either Japan or Poland.

"There should be some means of penalising players, coaches or teams for such an attitude.

Although the FSF said it is not seeking World Cup reinstatement, but merely hopes that teams will not suffer in the same way as the 2002 World Cup quarter-finalists did when exiting the competition in Samara.

It is reported that the Senegalese have sent two letters to the Switzerland-based organisation on Friday last week, one of which addressed the fair play criteria while the other complained about the standard of officiating in Senegal's 1-0 defeat by Colombia.

"The federation believes that Japan literally refused to play when it learned that Colombia had just scored a goal against Senegal, a refusal to play that suited Japan but which is contrary to the principles governing football," the letter stated.

"The federation is all the more shocked that the Japan coach did not deny the facts. In the post-match press conference, the latter even confirmed he had made the decision to manipulate the result by keeping the score at 1-0."

"The Senegalese Football Federation deplores the lack of fair play this Japanese team has shown. It challenges Fifa on the notion of ranking the number of cards which loses its meaning and interest when the team lacking fair play is not worried by any penalty."

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