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African Watch

'It Annoys Me To Be The Only Black Coach At The World Cup'

Senegal, who are managed by the only black coach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, became the first African team to get a win in Russia. Lions of Teranga coach Aliou Cisse has since given his eye-opening verdict on the lack of black coaches at the tournament.

Read: 14 Stars In France's World Cup Squad With African Heritage

Cisse captained Senegal – who qualified from Bafana Bafana's group for this year's showpiece – to their first ever win in World Cup history when a talented 2002 generation upset France in the opener of that year's tournament.

Sixteen years later, the 42-year-old guided his team to another opening win, against Poland, in only their second World Cup participation ever. He is the youngest manager in the dugout at this year's edition, and the only black coach on the tournament's sidelines.

"It's true that I am the only black coach in this World Cup," he said, as quoted by BBC journalist Oluwashina Okeleji.

"It's a painful reality that annoys me. I believe that football is a universal sport. I believe that skin colour has little importance in the game.

"It is good to see there is a black coach but, beyond football, it shows we have quality coaches. I represent a new generation that would like to have its place in African and world football."

Cisse also insisted that African football has improved a lot in recent years, but added that more quality coaches need to come through the ranks.

"I am certain that one day an African country will win the World Cup," he continued.

"It was some 25 years ago that African countries regularly came just to be a part of the World Cup. I think that things have developed but it's more complicated in our continent – we have realities that are not evident in other continents.

"We trust our football, we have no complex, we have great players, now we need African coaches for our football to go ahead." 

Read: Cavani: Why I Wanted To Swap Shirts With Salah

Senegal beat Poland in their first Group H encounter, while all other African teams have lost their games so far. The Lions of Teranga's next match is against Japan on 24 June.

Do you think Senegal are the best African team at the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.

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