Senegal loss a bitter pill to swallow

Netherlands

Netherlands' celebrates scoring their team's second goal during their Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A match against Senegal  at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev | AFP

What you need to know:

  • As I ‘lay-in-state- in my couch watching the hearbreak, I couldn’t help but reminisce another time and another country.
  • This was specifically 20 years ago in South Korea when Senegal stood up to their former colonial master and world football powerhouse, France beating them in the World Cup opener.

‘Mane-less Senegal fail to hold on against resurgent Dutch’.

This is how this newspaper headlined the story by Charles Nyende from Qatar.

It is a headline that summarised the pain that was felt from all over Africa and everywhere people of black descent reside.

This was after the Lions of Teranga lost 2-0 to the mean spirited Dutchmen in their opening match at Qatar 2022.

As I ‘lay-in-state- in my couch watching the hearbreak, I couldn’t help but reminisce another time and another country.

This was specifically 20 years ago in South Korea when Senegal stood up to their former colonial master and world football powerhouse, France beating them in the World Cup opener.

That time I was working with a continental news agency with headquarters in Dakar, Senegal and words alone cannot describe the feeling that day!

The whole of Africa and Africans- even those who could not pinpoint Senegal on the map- broke into song and dance, dancing away the negative things we have been associated with especially in the eyes of the international media.

Come Monday and there was no shadow of turning in our minds that there was no going Dutch with the Dutchmen- that our win was going to be quick, neat and surgical.

Alas! Although the Senegalese had more ball possession, more attacks on goal and generally the better side, the curse of relying on one man to grab a World Cup glory was all there for us to see- Senegal badly missed Sadio Mane, even as the man himself penned an emotional message saying he missed being in Qatar.

"Thank God, the surgery I had in the middle of the week went well. I wanna take this opportunity to thank and show my appreciation to you all. This Monday, our dear country will compete in the World Cup, Qatar 2022.

I am sure the Lions will transcend and approach every game as a true finale. I am also convinced that all Senegalese will be in front of the small screen to support and encourage our valiant national team.

Like all fans, I am convinced that my team-mates will fight as one man and as they are used to doing in order to honor our dear Senegal."

Too bad Mane’s wish was not granted. But we live to fight another day.

Still in Qatar, I was shocked when Kenyan fans, after watching the rather uninspiring Qatar play Ecuador in the opening match, turned their frustration on our star striker Michael Olunga.

To these miserable looking fellas, Qatar football was ‘ hot air and a wild goose chase’ and many wondered what business Olunga had playing there.

Listen well you losers, Olunga earns a cool Kshs 7 million per month playing in that league with reports of aanother Kshs 2 million per goal scored.

You are here using the royal ‘we’ when referring to teams like Manchester United and Arsenal yet not even the club gate watchman knows of your existence and yet here you are throwing shade at a man who is earning an honest living, and a decent one at that.

Get a life Abednego!


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