Senegal call for France to be disqualified from U17 World Cup

Senegal have called for France to be disqualified from the U17 World Cup after Les Bleuets fielded a potentially ineligible player during the Group Stages of the tournament, currently taking place in Indonesia. 

Montpellier HSC forward Yanis Issoufou has featured three times for France during this tournament, registering two assists and playing an important role in Les Bleuets’ progression to the knockout rounds, however, he was absent from Wednesday’s Round of 16 match against Senegal. 

The decision to omit Issoufou from the teamsheet was one made hastily and was in reaction to reports of the player’s ineligibility. As reported by Sport News AfricaIssoufou represented Niger U17s in a competition that allowed the African nation to compete in the U17 World Cup. FIFA rules (article 24) prohibit a player from representing two nations during the same tournament. The FFF did not want to take any chances against Senegal and Issoufou therefore did not play.

France went on to beat Senegal on penalties (5-3) to progress to the Quarter-finals, however, their participation going forward could be in question after Senegal lodged an official request for Les Bleuets’ disqualification. In an official letter, sent to the Director of the competition, the African nation highlighted the need to apply article 24, as well as article 8 b of FIFA’s rules for the 2023 U17 World Cup. 

We request, therefore, Mr. Director, that considering what has happened, France be disqualified from the 2023 Indonesia U17 World Cup for fielding an illegible player,” reads the letter from the Senegalese Football Federation. 

Sport News Africa reported prior to Wednesday’s Round of 16 tie between France and Senegal that Burkian Faso, who were dumped out of the competition at Les Bleuets’ expense, could also file a plea. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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