Former Senegal star Ferdinand Coly suspects short-term contract is ploy to sack Aliou Cisse

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For all their much-revered football exploits, Senegal have never won an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) title

Ferdinand Coly feels his former Senegal teammate and now coach Aliou Cisse might have been thrown into the departure lounge after being handed a mere one-year contract extension with the target of reaching the final of the 2019 Afcon.

Senegal last reached the Afcon final in 2002, losing to eventual champions Cameroon in a penalty shootout, with then captain Cisse missing the final kick.

Cisse has now been tasked with repeating the same feat next year in Cameroon.

While Cisse’s assignment appears attainable, Senegal still remain without an Afcon title despite being regarded as one of the football giants in Africa.

The FSF announced on Thursday that the coach’s contract was extended by a year with a set target of reaching next year’s Afcon final.

But Coly feels their country’s football governing body is being harsh on his ex-teammate who could now be in the firing line if he does not meet his contractual obligation.

“Indirectly, we are putting a lot of pressure on Aliou Cisse as if he was already condemned,” Coly told L'Observateur.

“At least five contenders like Ivory Coast, Algeria and other surprises will qualify for Afcon in addition to hosts Cameroon. Setting such a precise objective is not lack of ambition, quite to the contrary, it ties the coach contractually.

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"If Aliou does not attain this agreed objective, it will be easier to for the football authorities to justify his dismissal,” he concluded. 

Cameroon 2019, would be Cisse’s second Afcon tournament as Senegal coach after leading the Teranga Lions into the quarter-final stage last year in Gabon.

Having assumed the Senegal job in March 2015, Cisse recently guided his team to the 2018 Fifa World Cup finals where the Teranga Lions narrowly missed out on qualification for the last 16. 

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