Federation Internationale de Football Association defends fair play criteria to rank teams

Eden Hazard trained but Romelu Lukaku sat out the session

Senegal lost the final match 0-1 to Colombia after drawing 2-2 with Japan and they opened their campaign with a 2- 1 win over Poland.

Controvery asidJapan finished second in Group H via the fair play rule, having received fewer yellow cards than Senegal.

Japan coach Akira Nishino shakes hands with Yuto Nagatomo after the 2018 Fifa World Cup match against Poland in Volgograd June 28, 2018. We haven't qualified because of fair play.

Japan had four yellow cards and Senegal six, and neither nation had a red card, so Japan plays in the round of 16.

In 2018, with the current crop of African stars such as Egypt's Mohamed Salah and Senegal's Sadio Mane, matching the record from the Spanish World Cup underlines what a disastrous tournament this has been for Africa.

"We knew these were the regulations but we are fully committed and since we are committed maybe we get more yellow cards, it's a pity".

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Senegal fans celebrate victory over Poland by cleaning the stadium
Cisse however agrees that after five defeats in the six games featuring African teams, the hunt for glory could take some time. It is a habit drilled into citizens from a young age, with students expected to clean their school classrooms and hallways.

"They were really loyal in listening to me and following my words and that was me and the other coaching staff who made that decision", he said.

The first tiebreakers, goal differential and goals scored, couldn't determine a victor - the teams both had a goal differential of 0 and had scored four goals each. "We are busy watching Morocco at the World Cup but are we learning anything from their tactics?"

According to him, the adoption of European and alien style of play is an affront to the progress of the African teams.

"Africa is going to be successful one day but we need to think again how we approach these big competitions", he told the BBC where he is working as a television pundit.

The elimination of Germany in the first round and several teams failing to shine has left the World Cup wide open. "When it's working well in football you have to convert and score, we were not able to do it unfortunately then the penalty that was not awarded I will have a look at the VAR review but I'm not sure".

Much as all hopes were on Senegal, to see if they could replicate what they produced in the Japan/Korea 2002 edition in which they reached the knockout stage after even helping to oust the champions France, other fans believe this was an inexperienced side.

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