In what must be one of the stupidest decisions ever made by a football body, the Senegal Football Federation invoked the five day rule to prevent Papiss Cisse from playing for Newcastle yesterday – after they played a friendly game in Niamey, Niger in midweek, and at least six Senegal players, including Cisse, pulled out of that friendly game.
Papiss Cisse – may stop playing for Senegal
And it’s hardly surprising the Senegal captain is now considering his International future, after what amounted to a slap in the face for both Newcastle United and Cisse.
The 27-year-old was made unavailable to manager Alan Pardew only 80 minutes before the game was due to start against Swansea yesterday, after Newcastle had been assured by FIFA for a couple of days that Cisse could likely play.
But the Senegal Football Federation, supported by FIFA, invoked the five-day rule, after Papiss failed to report for the friendly international in Niger, because of a back injury.
If you have a back injury then sitting on a plane for hours is the very last thing you should be doing.
Newcastle are annoyed at the decision to say the least, and they will now take this up legally with FIFA and the Senegal FF, and Papiss Cisse was disappointed at being prevented from playing by his country, as he had this to say:
“I am deeply disappointed by the actions of my Federation which have punished me and my club.” “I love playing for my country and would only withdraw from a squad – for either a friendly or competitive game – for a genuine reason.”
“I am fully supportive of the position my club has adopted in this matter and am sorry that the Federation seem to doubt my honesty and integrity.” “I will now consider if I wish to continue to captain my country.”
That last sentence will probably lead to Papiss withdrawing from playing for his country, but he needs to think about it a bit, before making a final decision.
But a number of players these days consider their International futures as they get older, and with Senegal not qualifying for the African Cup of Nations, now may be a good time to make the decision.
And remember the Senegal fans rioted after 75 minutes in Dakar during the play-off game with the Ivory Coast, and they were losing the game 2-0 and were 6-2 down in the two legged tie, and the game was never restarted.
It will be good for Newcastle if Cisse does withdraw from playing on the International scene, because we’ll not lose him to International games, that have all that travelling involved, and it will not allow the Senegal FF to pull the same trick – ever again.
Papiss has played 22 times for Senegal with 11 goals.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org