Former Senegal international and Leeds United forward El Hadji Diouf has attributed the incidents of Saturday’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire to the football federation, calling for the body to be dissolved.
The two-time African football of the year, who travelled home from England on Friday to see the game, said the 1,000 tickets he ordered to distribute to his fans were impounded by officials of the FA, on suspicion he was recruiting hooligans to disrupt the encounter.
Ivorian captain Didier Drogba scored a brace to dash Senegal’s hopes of reaching next year’s showpiece, fueling anger and violence within the stadium from local supporters, which led to the suspension of the encounter in the 76th minute.
Senegal has the highest number of African professionals playing in Europe and some in the best leagues, but the team has failed to live up to expectation after their 2002 World Cup exploit.
El Hadji Diouf is proposing a complete overhaul of the country’s football system which should commence with the sacking of the FA’s executive committee members and the naming of an experienced hand like former Marseille chairman Pape Diouf, who originally hails from Senegal but holds a French nationality.
“I think to pacify the angry fans and the entire nation, the FA executive committee members should be axed or forced to resign, then Pape Diouf should be brought in to clean up the system,” the former Liverpool winger told Dakar-based newspaper Observateur on Sunday.
The FA lifted the player’s five-year ban early this month sparking rumours that he would be called up to the Teranga Lions fold to help the young team against the experienced Elephants.
However, he was ignored by coach Joseph Koto, who is now under fire from fans and some officials for his decision to essentially field players from the U23 team that participated in the 2012 London Olympic football tournament.