After winning the CAN 2022, Senegal has booked its ticket for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The reigning African Champions beat, this Tuesday, March 29, a beautiful Egyptian team, at the Me Abdoulaye Wade stadium in Senegal, after the penalty shootout. A great victory hailed by the Senegalese Minister of Sports who traces the course of this triumph.
We had to wait for the penalty shootout after 120 minutes of play to see Senegal win their ticket for the World Cup in Qatar. A well-deserved result, the fruit of hard work and a collective commitment, indicated the boss of Senegalese Sport, Matar Bâ, who spoke at length to the Tfm, as relayed by Afrik.com.
“Beyond the victory which is beautiful, the lesson we learn is that if we are united in Senegal, we will achieve our objectives. We have been through a lot in the last few days. It’s a very good victory for Senegal, and the few difficulties encountered will serve us for the next deadlines. If we weren’t qualified, it would give a taste of unfinished business. Because for a first team in Africa and 18th in the world, which cannot go to the World Cup, it was going to be serious”.
“Today, with this qualification, we are satisfied. It is a great joy. What we have seen today shows that it is a construction. Considering the way we won and how things went, it’s proof of the hard work that led to this result. We saw a great team, compact and determined, which earned us this victory. It must be emphasized that if we had not invested a lot in this team, we would not have had these results. We would not have had this course. There was a huge investment from the state, an unfailing commitment from the Senegalese Football Federation and a determination from the players and technical staff. All this, followed by support from the people, is what earned us this victory”.
“It’s just to tell you that in sport, if there is no investment, we cannot have such results. We need to redouble our efforts, put even more resources into sport. Because, whatever we say, what sport has made us experience here in Senegal, since the African Cup, it is rare to see anything else giving this popular enthusiasm, this collective satisfaction. To reach this stage of development, investments are therefore necessary. And that, the President of the Republic Macky Sall is aware of it. When I saw the players unfold in a packed stadium, I wondered what would happen if we didn’t have this stadium. It is a response to those who reproached us for having put too many resources into building this stadium. Today, this stadium is the pride of all of Senegal. We will never invest enough in sport.
“When you see the public who accompanied the players on their return from the African Cup, what happened at the Senegal stadium does not surprise me. I was convinced that we could not not win this match. Already, at the time of singing the national anthem, from memory, it is the first time that I see everyone singing the national anthem at the same time as the team. I felt everyone’s commitment from the start. Even when it came time to find tickets to the stadium, I felt that commitment. Ditto when coming to the stadium and the action of supporting. The supporters played 120 minutes. This is the place to congratulate the organizers and those who managed to keep the public spellbound.
“Today, we have reached such a level that we will have to work even harder to stay the course. It is not just football that is affected by this mission of success. All sporting disciplines are making their way towards excellence. And we must give thanks. Because, in my capacity as Minister of Sports, if I see that things are going rather well, I cannot give thanks for this mission and also the joy brought to the populations. Once again, with a lot of humility, I say it and repeat it, we Senegalese, no one is better than us, if we are together. If we stay on this dynamic of cohesion, there is no trophy that we cannot win”.
“This victory shows that a people is not determined by numbers (Senegal with 17 million inhabitants, Egypt with 108 million inhabitants, editor’s note). It is the will, the ambition and how to achieve it that determines a people. We need precursors in everything. Given the investment efforts made by President Macky Sall in sport, we should not allow ourselves to take a step back. We must increase these investment efforts and not reduce them. And if we continue on this path, our sport will only be fine. If not for the example of the Football Federation, being qualified twice in succession for the World Cup, what does it bring and how much! We have to fight to manage everything until we can support the development of local football”.