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October 15, 2012
Minister of Sport injured as Senegal-Ivory Coast CAN qualifier stopped by rioting

Riot police try to tame the crowd at the Senegal/Ivory Coast CAN Qualifier. Photo/Getty Images
by Rougui Alassane Niane, AIPS Young Reporter, Sénégal
DAKAR, October 15, 2012 - With stone throwing that led to several injured, including the Senegalese sports minister, the interruption of the Senegal-Ivory Coast match on Saturday during the final round of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations 2013 leaves the future of Senegalese football very uncertain.

Beaten 2-4 in the first leg, the Senegal team had to win the game by at least two goals against Côte d'Ivoire to qualify for the final phase of the CAN 2013 in South Africa.

Côte d'Ivoire dominated Senegal 2-0, thanks to Didier Drogba who scored both goals for the Elephants at the 50th and 74th minutes. The match was suspended in the 76th minute. Players from both teams then returned to the locker room and the game was stopped there.

Senegal has incurred a penalty of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) because of these incidents.

Such an atmosphere was also seen in 2009 at Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar, Senegal, when the Lions were eliminated by the Gambia, home of the race for the CAN 2010.

On Saturday, Alioune Cissé, Senegal’s national team coach and former Olympic football captain described the incident as "unfortunate for Senegal and African football."

Cyril Domoraud, former Elephants defender and current member of the technical staff of the Ivory Coast team, described the incident as "catastrophic" and "shameful for African football."

"The players come from far away to defend the colors of their nation and they do not deserve it," he said.

Consequences

In addition to the penalty, the Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium may no longer host international meetings for a long time.

In 1993, after the victory of Morocco to Dakar 3-1, which was punctuated by incidents, Senegal was obligated by international bodies to play its international matches outside.

It is because of this that the match against Zambia in qualifying for the 1994 World Cup was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Returning to this arena, punctuated by incidents and suspended by the referee of the game, it is certain that the international bodies will have a heavy hand, especially considering the attendance of Walter Gagg, who was sent by the Confederation of African Football for the purposes of the game.

The arrival of an individual on the lawn alone, meaning a failure to be stopped by security services, should result in a fine of 30 thousand dollars according to informed sources.

One can only imagine the extent and severity of the penalty after such incidents have forced the director of the party to suspend the game. Going further, Senegal may be obliged to play its home matches outside the country for the purposes of the 2014 World Cup.

Senegal, leader of their group with four points, would have to go out to “get” Angola and Uganda.

In addition, the impact is feared of the repercussions on players who hesitated to play for Senegal.

After games against Gambia in the CAN and the 2010 World Cup in October 2008, it took the help of security services to evacuate players. With the repetition of these events, there is concern that parents will drag their feet to leave their children to play for the national team.

Since Saturday, Senegal has not only been removed from the CAN 2013, it has put a serious mortgage on the future of its football. It is all the more regrettable that the selection that also participated at the Olympic Games could have had a bright future.

The Match

The Lions had their back to the wall; treading the lawn of the Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium, they wanted to avenge the insult suffered in the first leg. In Abidjan, they suffered a defeat 2-4. To get out of the game, coach Joseph Koto Senegal opted for an offensive system.

They put four strikers on the field: Papiss Demba Cisse, Dame Ndoye, Demba Ba and Moussa Sow. At the start of the match, Moussa Sow unleashed a long-range shot in the fourth minute that was narrowly rejected by the keeper of the Elephants, Copa Barry.

Sow was then imitated by Dame Ndoye, who snatched the ball from the defender of the Elephants, Souleymane Bamba. The Lions striker missed his shot.

Many of the public at Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium gave their voices to give more courage to Joseph Koto. The more experienced Elephants played with caution to unlock the caged Lions, whose defenders Lamine Sane and Cheikhou Kouyaté managed to contain the onslaught of Didier Drogba and Gervinho.

After a strong presence in the midfield, Idrissa Gana Gueye, was forced to leave his partner to injury, Joseph Koto revamped Dame Ndoye by shifting him to the right wing. His team then found automation.

In the 41th minute, Moussa Sow returned to the charge with a superb volley. The ball was pushed by the keeper Copa Barry. Both teams were neutralized at halftime.

Lions fans started to show signs of anxiety. After the break, the Ivoirians showed a new face. The twirling Gervihno woke up and gave the Senegalese defense a hard time. In the 49th minute, Yaya Touré caused a foul.

A good captain, Didier Drogba was responsible for executing it. From a great shot, he scored. Suddenly, if the Lions hope to qualify, they must score three goals.

Joseph Koto brought in Moussa Konaté and Sadio Mane. Despite the changes, the team failed to boost their game. In the 72th minute, the Senegalese defense was behind Yaya Toure. Then Cheikhou Kouyaté touched the ball with his hand.

The penalty and the riot

The Tunisian referee whistled a penalty. The Senegalese fans began to throw stones. Without pressure, Didier Drogba doubled the lead in the 74th minute.

As in 2009, against the Gambia, fans began to throw projectiles at the stadium, forcing the referee to stop the game against these guerrilla scenes.

Elements of the Brigade Intervention Police (BIP) fired tear gas to neutralize the supporters. Clustered in the middle of the field, players from both teams watched the hustle and bustle. Tired of waiting, the referee sent both teams to the locker rooms.

With this score, the Lions miss qualification for the African Cup of Nations (CAN) football 2013, which will be played in South Africa.

Because of incidents, Senegal could be sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Edited by Edna Zhou and Roslyn Morris


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French

Football : Eliminatoires CAN 2013

Le match avec les éléphants émaillés d’incidents, plusieurs blessés dont le ministre des sports du Sénégal

Le match retour Sénégal-Côte d'Ivoire du dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe d’Afrique des nations de football 2013, qui se jouait samedi au stade Léopold Sédar Senghor de Dakar, a été interrompu à cause d’incidents, les Lions ratant ainsi la qualification à la phase finale de la prochaine CAN.

Un arbitre de touche a reçu un projectile, au moment où la Côte d'Ivoire dominait le Sénégal par deux buts à zéro. Didier Drogba a marqué les deux buts des Éléphants, à la 50ème et 72ème minutes.

Le match a été suspendu à la 76ème minute. Les joueurs des deux équipes ont ensuite regagné les vestiaires et la partie s’en est arrêtée là.
Battue 2-4 à l’aller, l’équipe du Sénégal devait gagner le match par au moins deux buts d’écart contre la Côte d’Ivoire pour se qualifier en phase finale de la CAN 2013 prévue en Afrique du Sud.
Le Sénégal, qui rate ainsi la qualification à la CAN 2013, encourt une sanction de la Confédération africaine de football (CAF) à cause de ces incidents.
Une ambiance pareille avait eu lieu en 2009 au stade Léopold Sédar Senghor de Dakar, quand les Lions du Sénégal se sont fait éliminer par la Gambie, à domicile, de la course pour la CAN 2010.
Samedi, Alioune Cissé, l'entraîneur de l'équipe nationale olympique de football et ancien capitaine des Lions, a qualifié les incidents devant les Éléphants de "malheureux pour le Sénégal et le football africain".
Pour sa part, Cyril Domoraud, ancien défenseur des Éléphants et membre actuel du staff technique de l'équipe de Côte d'Ivoire, a qualifié les incidents de "catastrophiques" et de "honteux pour le football africain". "Les joueurs viennent de très loin pour défendre les couleurs de leur nation et ils ne méritent pas cela", a-t-il.


Des incidents hypothèquent l’avenir du football Sénégalais

Avec les jets de pierre qui ont occasionné l’interruption du match Sénégal-Côte d’Ivoire de samedi, alors que les Eléphants menaient par 2-0, le football sénégalais est parti pour vivre des lendemains très incertains.

En plus de la sanction pécuniaire, le stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, qui est sursitaire, risque de ne plus abriter des rencontres internationales pendant un bon bout de temps.
Déjà en 1993, après la victoire du Maroc à Dakar, 3-1, qui a été émaillée d’incidents, le Sénégal avait été obligé par les instances internationales d’aller jouer ses rencontres internationales à l’extérieur.
C’est dans ce cadre que le match contre la Zambie en éliminatoires de la coupe du monde 1994 avait eu lieu à Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire).
En revenant sur cette rencontre émaillée d’incidents et suspendue par l’arbitre de la partie, il est certain que les instances internationales auront la main lourde. Surtout que tout s’est déroulé en présence de Walter Gagg dépêché par la Confédération africaine de football pour les besoins de la rencontre.
Déjà, l’arrivée d'un individu sur la pelouse, après avoir déjoué la vigilance des services de sécurité, devait donner lieu à une amende de 30 mille dollars, selon des sources bien informées. On peut imaginer l’étendue et la lourdeur de la sanction après de tels incidents qui ont obligé le directeur de la partie à suspendre la rencontre.
En allant un peu très loin, le Sénégal serait dans l’obligation d’aller jouer ses matchs prévus ''à domicile'' à l’extérieur pour les besoins de la coupe du monde 2014.
Le Sénégal, leader de sa poule avec quatre points, serait obligé de sortir pour aller ''recevoir'' l’Angola et l’Ouganda.
En plus de cette obligation des instances internationales, il est à craindre le contrecoup de ces incidents sur des joueurs qui hésitaient encore à jouer pour le Sénégal à court ou à moyen terme.
Contre la Gambie en éliminatoires de la CAN et du Mondial 2010, en octobre 2008, il a fallu les services de sécurité pour évacuer les joueurs et, avec la répétition de ces événements, on peut craindre que des parents traînent les pieds pour laisser leurs enfants venir jouer pour la sélection nationale.
Samedi, le Sénégal n’a pas seulement été éliminé de la CAN 2013. Il a mis une sérieuse hypothèque sur l’avenir de son football et cela est d’autant plus regrettable que la sélection ayant pris part aux Jeux olympiques pouvait faire croire à un bel avenir.


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