Senegal have been placed under investigation for an alleged breach of FIFA rules ahead of their World Cup knockout stage match against England on Sunday, according to reports. The Lions of Teranga managed to book their place in the last 16 with a crucial victory over Ecuador on Tuesday afternoon, with goals from Ismaila Sarr and Kalidou Koulibaly claiming all three points despite Marcos Caicedo firing back for their opponents.
The result set up a mouthwatering clash with England for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals, with the match set to take place at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. However, it remains to be seen whether Senegal will face any sanctions from FIFA ahead of the fixture after they were placed under investigation for not complying with tournament regulations prior to their victory over Ecuador, according to The Mirror.
Every team at the World Cup is required to hold a press conference with the manager and a player from the squad, usually the captain, at the main media centre on the day before matches. Senegal boss Aliou Cisse appeared on Monday but was not joined by a player and spoke by himself for around 40 minutes, which is said to constitute a breach of FIFA rules.
It was confirmed on Wednesday morning that disciplinary proceedings had been opened against Senegal as a result, with a FIFA statement reading: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Senegalese Football Federation due to the potential breaches of article 44 of the Regulations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, article 2.7.2 of the Media and Marketing Regulations and article 8.5.3 of the Team Handbook.
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“The potential breaches relate to the mandatory press conference that took place on 28 November ahead of the Ecuador vs Senegal FIFA World Cup match.”
Germany were fined by FIFA for committing the same offence before their recent match against Spain, which suggests that Senegal could be handed a similar punishment by world football’s governing body over the coming days. The excuse given by Germany boss Hansi Flick was that he wanted all of his players to rest and did not want to bring any members of his squad on the three-hour round trip to the Qatar National Convention Centre as a result, although his reasoning did not prevent his side from being slapped with a fine of around £8,800.
It remains to be seen whether the disciplinary proceedings against Senegal will affect their preparations for Sunday’s match against England, who cruised into the knockout stages of the World Cup with a routine victory over Wales on Tuesday evening. Marcus Rashford broke the deadlock shortly after the interval with a spectacular free-kick before Phil Foden doubled England’s advantage from close range just moments later, with Rashford going on to fire home a third in order to wrap up the points for the Three Lions and send Wales crashing out of the tournament.
England boss Gareth Southgate insisted after the full-time whistle that it will be a hugely difficult task for his players to see off the challenge posed by Senegal, who will go into the match as the clear underdogs and have been without injured star man Sadio Mane for the duration of the tournament.
“We know on the rankings we will be favourites,” Southgate told reporters in his post-match press conference. “We’ve got to deal with that, but they’re a very dangerous team. The first objective is achieved. To this point we’re really pleased [but] the big business starts now.”
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