Senegal redefine the phrase ‘bad loser’ in African Cup of Nations farce

The Confederation of African Football has acted with great merit in throwing Senegal out of next year’s African Cup of Nations following the riotous behaviour of their fans in the match against Ivory Coast over the weekend. The worst, most petulant, megalomaniacal face of Africa was on display in that match, where the Senegalese home crowd reacted to going 2-0 down in the match by starting fires, hurling missiles and generally threatening serious violence completely disproportionate to the event on show. “Football is a religion in Africa” and other such quotes do not come close to sufficiently apologising for what must rank as one of the worst cases of bad loser syndrome in the sporting annals. Culturally, the hostile reaction of fans in the face of defeat brought to mind the equally arrogant, masochistic machinations of those in African countries who attacked foreign embassies following the release of a perceived anti-Islam video in the US. It is time to grow up. An unintelligent video made in bad faith is nothing more than that, and a loss in a football match should be treated with sporting disappointment rather than as a trigger for going crazy and assaulting everyone associated with the opposition. It is the sense that the home fans would have committed a crime as serious as murder out of as trivial a source as a childlike inability to swallow a loss in a game that is so infuriating. Once Senegal gets its house in order it can step back into the football fold, but in the meantime, it would do well to send everyone in that stadium back to their mothers and fathers for some basic life lessons.

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