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Senegal eliminated from the World Cup due to a controversial tiebreaker rule

Senegal eliminated from the World Cup due to a controversial tiebreaker rule

Japan also lost its final match of the group stage, 1-0, leaving both teams tied in points and the most common tiebreakers, point differential and goals scored.

With two fewer yellow cards, Japan's tally of minus-four points was two better than Senegal, who may feel aggrieved at being sent home for a reason other than the quality of their football.

"This is the first time (the fair play rule) has been used in a senior World Cup in this way".

"We will review after this World Cup, we will see what the feedback and the situation is", FIFA's competition director Colin Smith said Friday, "but as it now stands we don't see any need to change".

"I am not too happy about this, but I forced my players to do what I said". "We must wait. We are hoping that it will be good news after the medical tests, and then we will know for sure what has happened".

At the start of the day, Japan and Senegal (with 4 points each) needed just a point in their final match against Poland and Colombia, respectively, to progress.

Or to put it more brutally, Egypt went out without a whimper; Tunisia likewise; Morocco played well but could not score and Nigeria, like Senegal, choked when it mattered most. And that's the end of Africa's respresentation at this World Cup.

While the fair play tiebreaker is far from ideal, it's likely better than what would have been the case had Senegal and Japan also been tied on yellow cards - the final remaining tiebreaker that Federation Internationale de Football Association has, in that case, is the drawing of lots.

Although Japan ran the risk of Senegal scoring in their match, no goal materialised and Japan advanced to the round of 16 in spite of their poor sportsmanship.

"They are both world-class teams", said Nishino.

What a World Cup it had been that has seen all African teams failing to reach the knockout stages in 36 years as well as the curse of the champions coming to haunt again in which Germany got eliminated in the group stages, the first time ever.

"Africa should evolve a viable system of football and others sports development which would prepare its teams adequately to surmount officiating and related antics. There is not much difference between the top teams and the others", he added.

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