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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Cisse's warning shot
Aliou Cisse talking to journalists after losing to Turkey
Cisse says Senegal must build on World Cup success

Senegal captain Aliou Cisse has warned that the Lions could have another long spell in the wilderness if the Senegalese Football Federation fails to plan for the future.

"After the great teams we had in the mid-1980s, with the likes of Jules Bocande, Roger Mendy and Omar Sene, there was a 10 year break in which we went nowhere.

"If we do not sort out the problems of Senegalese football and prepare a generation of talented footballers to follow us, I am very scared for the future," Cisse told BBC Sport Online.

Youth development

Cisse's warning is a timely one - shafts of decay run through every level of Senegalese football besides the senior national team.

The country's junior teams have failed to qualify for the U-17 and U-20 African Youth championships since 1995, while the league, comprised of amateur clubs, is poorly run.

Senegalese fans
Fans of tle Lions expect further success

With the exception of third choice goalkeeper Kalidou Cissokho, every other member of the Senegalese World Cup squad ply their trade in France.

The infrastructure for football in the country leaves much to be desired.

The Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar is poorly maintained.

It has no floodlights, a potato field of a pitch, and as one current player explains, "simply disgusting changing rooms".

Senegal's football officials says they are aware of the problems and are doing something about them.

Malick Sy, president of Senegal's Football Federation, has said that qualification for the 2004 Olympic football tournament is a priority, as it would produce the next generation of Lions.

See also:

22 Jun 02 | Senegal v Turkey
23 Jun 02 | Senegal
20 Jun 02 | Senegal v Turkey
Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


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