English Premiership

Sakho starts club v country row

2015-01-27 09:26
Diafra Sakho (whufc.com)

Malabo - Senegal coach Alain Giresse has accused West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho of setting a dangerous precedent by playing in the FA Cup after pulling out of the African Nations Cup with a back injury.

"I'm very surprised to learn that he played (on Sunday)," Giresse told a news conference on Monday.

"When you cannot fly for six weeks and then suddenly you're playing a football game ... there must be miraculous medicine in England.

"This sets a dangerous precedent because in future you are going to have players claiming they cannot catch planes to Africa but who can still play football (for their clubs). It is a debate that deserves more discussion."

Sakho, who scored in West Ham's 1-0 fourth-round victory over Bristol City, was originally selected in Senegal's 23-man Nations Cup squad before withdrawing.

Senegal did not demand a ban from world soccer's ruling body FIFA on him playing for his club during the Nations Cup after originally threatening to do so.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce explained that Sakho's injury still prevented him from flying.

"We had to drive him down in a limo on Saturday but other than that he said he can get out on the pitch and just see how he goes," Allardyce told Talksport radio.

The 25-year-old's appearance as a substitute on Sunday was his first outing since New Year's Day against West Bromwich Albion.

Senegal play their last Group C game on Tuesday. A draw against Algeria in Malabo will be enough to put them into the quarter-finals.

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