Senegal became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated through FIFA’s fair play rules, but their coach, Aliou Cisse, remained adamant that he would not have instructed his players to play any differently.
After falling to Colombia by a score of 1-0, Senegal sat even on points with Japan at four and with the same number of goals as the Samurai Blue.
However, Japan finished the group stage with only four yellow cards received, while Senegal had six, seeing Japan advance to the round of 16 instead of them.
“I do not know if this rule is cruel or not, but I can’t ask my players to jump on the court to not receive yellows,” said the Senegalese coach, visibly disappointed.
“It’s the law of football, the law of fair play, and we had less points in that aspect and we have to accept it.
“In any case, these are the rules of the game and we have to respect them, but we would have preferred to be eliminated in another way.”
Convinced of the good work of his men and of which they made merits to continue in Russia 2018, Cisse also praised the participation of the other African national teams, despite the continent not being able to send any sides to the knockout stages.
“African football is making a lot of progress, and we are going to continue in this line and I am sure we will do good things in the future,” he said.
“We are on the right track.”