All Arab, African nations eliminated from World Cup after dramatic group stage

Thibaut Courtois

The Lions of Teranga, who ended up with the same number of points and goal difference as Japan in Group H, became the first team in the tournament's history to be eliminated by the FIFA Fair Play rule, having accumulated six yellow cards to the Asian side's four in the group stage.

And the bitter part is that Senegal were declared out on the grounds of fair play after they tied on everything except that Japan had less cautions (yellow cards) than Senegal - begging the question from most Malawians: "why weren't they asked to play penalties?"

J.E Sarpong, the Veteran Ghanaian coach has said, the mentality and style of play by the African representatives in this year's FIFA World Cup has made it impossible for them to progress into the next stage of the competition or even win the ultimate. We would have preferred to be eliminated in another way, it's a pity for us but this is how it works.

"I'm not too happy about this but I forced my players to do what I said". "We must wait. We are hoping that it will be good news after the medical tests, and then we will know for sure what has happened".

Senegal fell just short of making the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup on Thursday, losing to Colombia, 1-0. "We are busy watching Morocco at the World Cup but are we learning anything from their tactics?" Japan collected four. Both teams amassed four points and a goal aggregate of 4-4.

"We want to avoid drawing lots as we believe teams progress based on what happens on the pitch", said Federation Internationale de Football Association director of competitions Colin Smith.

"They are both world-class teams", he said.

"I was sceptical when I read an acronym for (FIFA): Football Is not For Africa, but believed strongly in it after the freakish officiating against Nigeria and Senegal", he said.

Senegal's elimination confirmed Africa's worst performance since the 1982 World Cup in Spain, when the continent last failed to get a team past the first round.

"Africa is going to be successful one day but we need to think again how we approach these big competitions", he told the BBC where he is working as a television pundit. "These incidents (Rodriguez injury) can give you a very hard time so what we did was very extraordinary, especially when you think about the team we were playing".

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