Fans savour the memory of Senegal at World Cup in Qatar

AP - Sunday Alamba

Kick-off less than 30 minutes away, Aziz Kame stood guard diligently over a dozen assikos. The drums would be on parade inside the Al Bayt Stadium imminently to support the Senegal team's push for the last eight at the World Cup at the expense of England. But the weapons of mass distraction needed to be drafted in at the very last moment to protect them from the much-vaunted air-conditioning.

"It affects the sound," said Kame as Moussa Badji joined him to help arrange the musical artillery before the pounding inside.

The two were the last men standing outside from a 100-strong detail of supporters belonging to Le Douzième Gaïnde.

In wolof, one of the languages spoken in Senegal, gaïnde means lion.

"There are 11 gaïndes on the pitch and we are the douzième (12th)," Kame explained.

"It has been a good competition," added the 35-year-old accountant who had flown from Dakar with his fellow supporters.

Best Coach

"Aliou Cissé has been our best coach. He's led us to two finals at the Africa Cup of Nations.

"We lost one and won one and he's brought the team to the World Cup. Whatever happens to us, he must stay."

And picking up his load, he added: "He has done a good job and he is an African."

The nationalities of African team coaches used to be a source of contention at international competitions.

Cissé skippered the first Senegal side to play at the World Cup in 2002 under the Frenchman Bruno Metsu.


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