Egypt petitions FIFA to replay World Cup qualifier vs Senegal over lasers, ‘atmosphere of terror’

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 31 Mar 2022

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Wednesday it lodged an official complaint with the FIFA for a replay of the World Cup qualifying game against Senegal in Dakar on Tuesday, charging that a “terrorising atmosphere”, including illegal lasers that blurred the vision of players during the penalty shootout, cost the Pharoahs a trip to Qatar.

The light from green laser pointers can be seen on the pitch as Egypt s Mohamed Salah kicks the ball during a penalty shootout at the end of the World Cup 2022. AP

Egypt lost to Senegal 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 aggregate draw on Tuesday to miss out on a place in the 2022 World Cup finals that will take place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

 “We insisted that the game [ the second game of the World Cup qualifying playoffs at Stade Olympique de Diamniadio stadium] was played in a terrorising atmosphere," the EFA boss Gamal Allam said in the complaint with the FIFA's disiplinary committee, which receives and decides on official complaints.

“If we lost in normal ways, we would congratulate them without a complaint,” the FEA boss told Sada El-Balad's 'The Match' programme on Wednesday evening.

Senegal’s fans in the stand- estimated at 55,000 - intensified their game-long use of lasers on Egyptian players faces, when they targetted Mohamed Salah as he stepped in to take Egypt’s first penalty kick, which he missed wildly in a rare gaffe.

Two other typically very reliable Pharoahs' penalty kickers - Ahmed 'Zizo' El Sayed and Mostafa Mohamed - also missed from the spot, giving the Lions of Teranga the win.

“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 EFA boss added.

“The whole complaint file has been sent to the Disciplinary Committee.”

The EFA also said the Egyptian players were also attacked with projectiles and bottles on the bus on route to the stadium, adding there is photographic evidence to prove it.

“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 projectiles 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.” he added.

“We presented [the FIFA] all what we suffered from and we are waiting for the reply,” the EFA president concluded.

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