The Group H game between Colombia and Senegal at Samara Arena ended with the latter’s heartbreaking loss by 0-1. Senegal topped the table with 6 points after sealing a victory. Japan who played against Poland ended the contest with a draw by 2-2. Senegal and Japan had 4 points in their kitty and both teams needed only one point to reach the pre-quarters of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Since only one team off the two could qualify for the pre-quarters and as per FIFA rules, it was Senegal who got eliminated from the mega event for having more yellow cards in the group stage.
As per FIFA’s official website, a lot of emphases is laid on the conduct of the teams. As per article 32 (5) lit. g), “It is important to note that the fair play conduct will be determined on the basis of all group matches and not only of the fair play conduct in concerned group matches.”
Team Senegal was dejected with the decision made, but coach Aliou Cisse said he "accepted the rules of the game". "It's the law of football. We didn't qualify because we've earned more yellow cards, but I'm proud of my lads, they've worked hard for this tournament and I think we've showed we can have a bright future," he said while addressing the press post the game. “It's the rules of the game, they've been established by FIFA and we have to respect it, even though we would have liked to have been eliminated another way. I think the players knew all about it. I'm not going to ask my players to go on the pitch and try to avoid being issued yellow cards. Football is a contact game,” he said one a concluding note.