On RFI's Radio Foot International programme, RFO journalist Yoro Mangara dropped a bombshell the day after Senegal's historic victory over Brazil. He revealed that the Lions, in solidarity with the people, wanted to boycott the match against Benin in memory of the victims of the events of 1 and 2 June 2023. The Senegalese football federation immediately reacted to the news, denying the allegations.
Senegal's national team may have wanted to boycott the match against Benin in support of the victims of the recent demonstrations in the country, journalist Yoro Mangara has told RFI . He made the revelation on the Radio Foot Internationale programme, the day after the Lions' historic friendly victory over Brazil.
These allegations greatly angered the Senegalese Football Federation, which immediately issued a statement denying the allegations. "The Senegalese Football Federation takes issue with the statements made by Mr Yoro Mangara, a Senegalese journalist, during today's programme on the RFI channel. According to Mr Mangara, the players of the Senegalese national football team had wanted to boycott the Senegal-Benin match on the 5th day of the qualifiers for the CAN TotalEnergies, Côte d'Ivoire 2023, in reaction to the socio-political situation that prevailed during the month of June", the statement said.
The FSF continued: "Such comments, as well as others made on the set of a programme on a foreign channel, are completely unfounded and are simply a figment of the imagination of their author, who is in search of a sensation or a reputation, and who apparently sought to enhance his standing in front of his colleagues present on the set and, secondarily, in front of public opinion, by creating a false story sewn from thin air".
The FSF announces a complaint
The FSF is taking legal action against the journalist, who it believes is trying to create a buzz. "Journalists from the national and international press who were on the pitch in Dakar (Diamniadio) for the preparation, in Cotonou or in Lisbon are here to testify that the squad worked under the usual conditions of preparation and competition and not for a single moment was there any talk of anything other than Football. To lie, to blatantly make up stories in broad daylight, urbi et orbi, about issues as serious and sensitive as these regrettable events that have taken place in Senegal, just to create a buzz, is the antithesis of the values of respect for journalistic deontology and ethics".
The FSF is not ruling out taking legal action against the journalist and RFI. "The FSF is not ruling out the possibility of taking this matter to court, both against the author of the false comments (which are totally out of step with current sporting events, such as the historic and resounding victory of the Senegalese Lions against Brazil, the best national team in the history of football) and against RFI radio, which opened its stations to him. RFI would be well advised to ask him to provide proof of his false allegations, if it wants to preserve both the credibility of its sports programme and the image of its channel". To be continued...