Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse could be missing on the side lines for the Round of 16 match clash against England through illness.
The 46-year-old failed to show up for the press conference on Saturday and also couldn’t take training a day earlier.
Assistant Coach takes over training & Media
Assistant coach Regis Bogaert who took up media duties said, “He (Cisse) has been sick for a couple of days now. He let us take charge of training yesterday, obviously with his instructions we got across to the players.
Hopefully tomorrow he will be able to come and be on the bench with the players. I am sure that at 10pm [7pm GMT] tomorrow he will be there with the team”
On being asked whether Senegal could repeat their heroics from the 2002 World Cup where they shocked France in their opening group encounter, Bogaert said, “I don’t know how important it would reach. I am sure it is almost as important.
For the players, the objective is to show what we can do against one of the top five teams in the world. They are No. 4 I think, but if we can beat a team like that, then that sends out a very strong message of the progress that we’ve made.”
Earlier, it was reported that Senegal had received an £8,700 fine failing to comply with FIFA’s pre match regulations.
A player is obliged to face the media alongside the head coach, however on the eve of the crunch tie against Ecuador, it was only Cisse who arrived to face the media.
Senegal aiming to upset the odds
Senegal qualified for the knockout stages after beating Ecuador 2-1 in their last group match. The AFCON winners will be aiming to upset the odds as they take on an English side who have been lackluster and far away from their best.
Despite Sadio Mane missing for the African side, the Senegalese have played with gusto and will now aim to reach the quarter finals of the World Cup, the first time since 2002.
Captain Kalidou Koulibaly remains the central figure for the team, the Chelsea defender who scored the winning goal against Ecuador.
After his match winning performance, the 31-year-old said, “Two-thirds of the world probably thought we wouldn’t go through after Sadio’s injury. But we are a family, a well-oiled team.
There is a dream of going beyond the quarterfinal. We keep believing, we want to relate the story of Senegalese football.”
Photo credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto
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