FT's 10 Best Moments of 2018: #2 Senegalese fans dripping sauce
At FirstTouch, we have a saying that goes like, “a year is never over until we close it.” In the spirit of that ideal, we took our time to look back at the ten most defining moments of 2018, as far as African football is concerned. Could you guess what they are? Here is number 2?
The 2018 FIFA World cup was arguably the most anticipated events of 2018 at the commencement of the year and truly lived up to the hype. Of course it was a day off for Africa as all of its five representatives failed to reached the knock out stages of the competition but was not without positives to pick up moving forward as a footballing generation of the continent.
One such positive was an off-field event that elevated the fans of the Lions of Terranga. It’s no secret that in many places around the world, Africa is seen as a dirty, war torn and starved place, and its people rowdy and uncultured. Even narratives such as, “Senegal the physical team” were prevalent towards the Russia tournament, not because of the admiration of their physical prowess but an undertone suggesting them not being so good tactically. The Senegalese people present at the world cup took the time to be just themselves by cleaning up after each of their three group matches against Poland, Japan and even after the most heart-breaking one against Colombia, when their side’s elimination was confirmed. Confirmed by reason of not having less points or goals but being on the receiving end of the most number of yellow cards in the group. No explanation needed here to describe the kind of people they are and the kind of African people as a whole.
Of course it was not only the Senegalese fans, but their partnership with the Japanese of keeping Russia clean gained them global recognition and was awarded with a nomination under the FIFA Best Fan Of The Year Award category.