Jul
13
2007
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Calm follows storm for Senegal

It is not just following Senegal’s impressive run to the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup TM in Korea and Japan that the nation’s footballers have attracted attention from European clubs. The star of that squad, El Hadji Diouf, for example earns his living in England with Bolton Wanderers while Diomansy Kamara is among this season’s leading scorers in the second tier of English football with Wst Bromwich Albion. However, both Diouf and Kamara boycotted a national team match against Angola in February. The reason for their decision was that the squad had flown to Dakar on the understanding that the match against the southeast African nation was to played in Gambia. But, when they arrived in the Senegalese capital, Diouf and his team-mates were informed that instead of going to Gambia they were to fly to Rouen in France, where their opponents would not longer be Angola but Benin. Only seven of the Senegalese players complied with the association’s instructions. As a result, several players from France’s lower leagues had to be called up at short notice in order to complete the squad. Despite all the turbulence, Senegal won the match 2-1, and a few weeks later the association and the aggrieved players managed to reconcile their differences.