The Senegal national football team has started their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over The Gambia. However, their performance failed to impress the team as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Guinea. Despite their positive start, there is now a growing frustration within the camp.
Manager Aliou Cisse has voiced his complaints about the scheduling of the matches. He had already expressed his concerns before the tournament began and now forward Sadio Mane has joined in, calling the decision “bad for football.” Mane believes that playing at 2 pm is a disadvantage for the players and the sport as a whole. He feels that in order to fully enjoy the tournament, players need to be in good shape, and playing in the heat of the day hinders their performance.
Cisse also agrees with Mane’s sentiment, stating that it is very difficult for the players to adapt in such a short period of time. Many of the players also play in Europe where the weather is much colder, so adjusting to the heat is a challenge. Cisse mentions that they had already mentioned this possibility and their concerns during a press conference, hoping that the match schedules would be revisited.
Overall, the Senegal team may have had a positive start to the tournament, but the frustration regarding the match schedules is growing. Both Mane and Cisse believe that playing in extreme conditions like the midday heat negatively impacts the players and the quality of the football on display. They hope that their concerns are taken into consideration for future tournaments.