AFCON 2024: ‘You’ve killed us, keep your African Cup’ – Senegal star rages after Ivory Coast defeat

Senegal's attempt to retain the AFCON title has concluded in disappointment as the team led by Aliou Cissé was eliminated by hosts Ivory Coast in the Round of 16 on Monday.

Despite initially taking the lead with a goal by Habib Diallo, the Terranga Lions were unable to secure victory, ultimately conceding from a penalty equaliser by Franck Kessié in the dying embers of the game.

The Ivory Coast subsequently progressed after winning the penalty shootout (4-5).

Senegal struggling to deal with Ivory Coast loss

Speaking after the game, Krépin Diatta was convinced if Senegal had been awarded the decisions they deserved during the game, the match would not have extended to a shootout.

The Monaco winger cited an apparent foul by Odilon Kossounou on Ismaila Sarr inside the box, which the referee opted not to penalise.

Additionally, the VAR team's decision not to prompt the referee to review the incident through the pitch-side monitor left Diatta visibly raging.

“You’ve killed us, you’re corrupt! Keep your African Cup! You go and consult VAR to give them a penalty, but a guy (Sarr) runs 40 metres, overlaps, breaks into the box and you can’t go and look at the VAR,” he said

“I’m sorry, but it’s ridiculous. I’m really sorry, but they’ve killed our competition there,” Diatta expressed passionately while passing through the mixed zone.

Several controversial decisions in Senegal vs Ivory Coast

Sadio Mane narrowly avoided a red card for a reckless challenge on Ibrahim Sangare during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 match between Senegal and Ivory Coast.

The tackle has sparked significant controversy on social media, with many questioning how the Al Nasser forward managed to remain on the pitch for the entire match.

This could potentially corroborate Diatta's claim that CAF, through the match officials, is undermining the integrity of the game.

Ivory Coast stand-in manager with the Midas touch?

Emerse Fae has worked wonders since taking over from Jean-Louis Gasset. He has presided over a renaissance at the national team and has breathed life into the hosts – proving his managerial worth.

His second-half introduction of Wilfried Singho, Franck Kessie, Nicolas Pepe, Simon Adingra and Sebastien Haller was a masterclass as the substitutes changed the game's tempo to Ivory Coast's favour.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with and He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.