Diouf: Senegalese FA must resign
The violence which caused a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tie to be abandoned has been blamed on their on-again-off-again international star - and the source of many a managerial headache - El Hadji Diouf.
October 17th, 2012
The 31 year-old Senegalese striker was targeted by the president of his national football federation, Augustin Senghor of the FTF, after riots broke out during the second leg of the match between Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Didier Drogba had scored a penalty to send the Côte d’Ivoire on their way to a 6-2 aggregate win when fires broke out around the stadium.
On Monday, the Leeds United attacker cried foul as his purchased acquisition of 1,000 tickets for the match had been impounded by authorities due to FTF suspicion that they would be distributed “to hooligans to disrupt the meeting at the stadium”.
“We strongly believe it was an act of sabotage set up by an individual or group of persons to destabilise Senegal’s football,” Senghor said.
Not that we’re saying the two events are related, but Diouf has previously gone on record to call shenanigans on the entire Senegalese footballing body, with his comments to the media about corruption in African football resulting in a five-year ban from playing for his country. Just over a year later as the ban was overturned, Diouf was left out of the squad to face the Ivory Coast – a decision he claims was based on their fear of him.
“They’re scared of me,” he told the BBC World Service. “They do so many bad things inside, they don’t like someone with a big character inside to say what they want to do.”
According to one newspaper, Diouf had also promised to “go to war” with the FTF if they took any further action than his initial disciplinary hearing, one at which the striker failed to appear.
“I think to pacify the angry fans and the entire nation, the FA executive committee members should be axed or forced to resign,” he told Observateur newspaper at the weekend – leading many pundits to, rightly or wrongly, start to join the dots.