On Tuesday, Egypt missed out on another World Cup after losing to Senegal on penalties. The Senegalese fans, who were welcoming the Egyptians to their country for the second leg of the tie, did all they could to throw their opponents off.
Fans are the 12th man on the field for this reason as they provide their side with a mental boost when they show enthusiastic support. However, some of their tactics were underhanded, which did not sit well with the opposing team.
Senegal’s fans targeted Egypt’s players with lasers during the game and more intensely during the penalty shootout. As a result, Mohamed Salah, the team captain, missed his spot kick which was the first of the shootout.
Having the captain and their talisman miss from the spot in a hostile ground affected the other players, leading to two more misses, leading to Senegal winning the shootout 3-1 and booking a ticket to Qatar.
Emotions were high after the game, with both benches clashing over the misdemeanour of Senegal’s fans. Both sets of fans also clashed, albeit briefly.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) were not willing to accept the loss, and announced on Wednesday that it had lodged an official complaint to FIFA asking for the match to be replayed.
The EFA cited a “terrorising atmosphere” as their reason for demanding a rematch.
“We insisted that the game was played in a terrorising atmosphere,” the EFA boss Gamal Allam said to Egyptian media on Wednesday after lodging the complaint to FIFA.
“If we lost in normal ways, we would congratulate them without a complaint.
“We registered our complaint with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA during the game and we will discuss it with the FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino while attending the FIFA’s congress in Qatar.
“The whole complaint file has been sent to the [FIFA] Disciplinary Committee.”
The EFA boss also claimed that Senegalese fans attacked the Pharaohs’ bus with rocks and bottles en route to the stadium, and also claimed they have photographic evidence of the attacks.
“The Egypt national team have been subjected to racism with offensive signs in the stands against Egyptian players in general, and Mohamed Salah in particular,” Allam said.
“The crowd also intimidated the players by throwing bottles and rocks at them during the warm-up. The Egyptian team bus was also exposed to assaults that led to broken windows and injuries; [we] filed pictures and videos as proof in the complaint submitted.
“We presented [the FIFA] all what we suffered from and we are waiting for the reply,” the EFA president concluded.