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 Senegal.
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.
“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.”