Senegal ask FIFA to revise fair play rule after Japan's 'negative' tactics

Japan settled for a 1-0 loss to eliminated Poland on Thursday as the Volgograd Arena rang with boos from supporters with the Samurai Blue players passing the ball tamely among themselves in the final

Senegal’s football federation (FSF) has asked FIFA to reconsider its fair play ruling after their accumulation of more yellow cards than World Cup group rivals Japan made the African side the first country to be eliminated by the new regulation.



Japan and Senegal were left on the same points, goals and goal difference but it was Akira Nishino’s side that sneaked into the last 16 at the expense of the Africans.



Japan settled for a 1-0 loss to eliminated Poland on Thursday as the Volgograd Arena rang with boos from supporters with the Samurai Blue players passing the ball tamely among themselves in the final minutes of the game and Poland, happy with consolation points, choosing not to chase them down.



“In future, FIFA should penalise a team that plays that way,” FSF spokesperson Kara Thioune told the BBC.



Should fair play include negative football tactics?



With Japan and Senegal having drawn 2-2, the sides were split in a World Cup first by FIFA’s new tie-breaking ‘fair play’ regulation, which compared the sides’ disciplinary records across their three group matches.



“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.’‘



Understanding the fair play rule that eliminated Senegal from World Cup



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



Under the new system, a yellow card counts as minus one point, while an indirect red is minus three. A direct red card would cost four points.



With two fewer yellow cards, Japan’s tally of minus four points was two better than Senegal, who felt aggrieved at being sent home for a reason other than the quality of their football.



Senegal wants Japan punished



The FSF has sent two letters to FIFA to complain about the situation.



“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.”



REUTERS



Aubameyang 'visits' Wakanda with Black Panther mask in Arsenal win

He pulled on a Black Panther mask after his second goal and Arsenal’s third. The strike sealed qualification in a tense game.

Gabonese international and Arsenal forward Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was in hot form Thursday night as the English premier league side qualified for the quarter-finals of the Europa League competition.

Despite his two goals helping the Gunners to a three – nil victory over French side Stade Rennes, it was Aubameyang’s celebration that has attracted reactions on social media.

He pulled on a Black Panther mask after his second goal and Arsenal’s third. The strike sealed qualification in a tense game.

Supporters at the Emirates Stadium were on tenterhooks after Arsenal lost the first leg 3 – 1 in France. The hosts got off to a quick start as Aubameyang opened the scoring on the fifth minute mark.

Maitland-Niles doubled the lead on the 15 minute mark before Aubameyang sealed the deal with a 71st minute goal. Then he donned the Black Panther mask to celebrate with the fans and team mates.

The club’s Twitter handle titled a photo of mask-wearing Aubameyang and team mate Sead Kolasinac ‘WAKANDA FOREVER’ – in reference to the refrain used by people in Wakanda, the imaginary country where the marvel film Black Panther was staged.

CAF president issued U.S. visa amid denial reports

The three-month visa is issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo with the issue date being March 14 and June 12 expiration date.

President of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, Ahmad Ahmad was finally granted a United States visa after reports of him being denied gained currency.

The BBC reported on Thursday that a CAF spokesperson had confirmed that Ahmad was denied a visa to attend a FIFA council meeting.

“I confirm the information. The (CAF) president will be in Cairo,” the spokesperson is quoted as saying. But on late Thursday, a photo of Ahmad’s visa was released – reportedly by CAF.

The three-month visa is issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo with the issue date being March 14 and June 12 expiration date.

Ahmad serves as vice-president of the FIFA council set to meet today in Miami. The top brass of World Football are expected to be in attendance.

FIFA, Qatar to discuss expanding 2022 World Cup

According to media reports, Oman and Kuwait could be chosen to host some of the games of the expanded tournament.

FIFA is keen on seeing the World Cup extended from 32 teams to 48 in the next edition.

It’s a feasible change, according to a study conducted by the technical teams of the football governing body.

But there’s a condition. Qatar will have to accept the idea to co-organise the event with at least one of its neighbours.

The number of matches will increase from 64 to 80, which would be intense for a single country to bear.

According to media reports, Oman and Kuwait could be chosen to host some of the games of the expanded tournament.

A FIFA delegation will meet in Miami, United States on Friday with officials from the host country of the 2022 World Cup.

The organizing committee of Qatar declined to comment on the feasibility study. But its spokesman confirmed Qatar’s presence at the Miami meeting.

According to officials, an increase in the number of teams at the next World Cup could generate additional revenues of between 300 and 400 million dollars, including 120 million in television rights.

Reuters

Zidane returns to Real Madrid's training pitch

Zidane returns for a second spell as coach with plans to rebuild the Spanish giants.

No time to waste for the Frenchman. Zinedine Zidane held his first training session with Real Madrid’s squad on Wednesday.

It follow his reappointment to manage the club on Monday, March 11.

Zidane returns for a second spell as coach with plans to rebuild the Spanish giants. The team has fallen into crisis since he left in May after winning an unprecedented third straight Champions League.

Zidane also won a Liga title in 2017 among nine trophies before standing down having taken the club to the European summit.

But they have endured a miserable season in his absence, first sacking Julen Lopetegui and then Santiago Solari.

Real president Florentino Perez has again turned to Zidane, who stepped in for Rafa Benitez in 2016.

Zidane then quickly guided the team to Champions League glory, but this time he will be without the club’s all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Reuters

LFA second division league, J-2: second win for BYC FC, Watanga and Nimba United

Three teams win they second game in the Orange-sponsored Liberia Football Association (LFA) second division league. BYC FC, Watanga FC and Nimba United were happy winners of the second day. At Antoinette Tubman Stadium, Watanga FC beat Monrovia Club Breweries (0-1). J. Konuwa was the unique scorer of the game (73e). Nimba United beat Keitrace FC (2-1) with a goal of Janeth in additional time (93e). Barrack Young Controllers could count on W.Freeman who scored two goals (55e and 86e) to beat NPA Anchors at Nancy B. DDE Stadium, sunday. FC Fassell have concided its second defeat against Small Town FC (2-1) with an early goal of Bolo (94e). Results J-2: Monrovia Club - Watanga FC 0-1 Small Town FC - FC Fassel 2-1 Jubilee FC - LISCR FC 1-2 Nimba FC - LPRC Oilers 0-0 Nimba United - Keitrace FC 2-1 NPA Anchors - BYC 0-2 1- BYC FC 6 pts 2- Watanga FC 6 3- Nimba United 6 4- LPRC Oilers 4 5- LISCR FC 3 6- Small Town 3 7- NPA Anchors 3 8- Nimba FC 2 9- Jubilee FC 1 10- MC Breweries 0 11- Keitrace FC 0 12- FC Fassel 0