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Malian football crisis: Players threaten to leave national team

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Malian football is currently embroiled in a crisis, exacerbated by the recent underperformance during the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the subsequent dismissal of head coach Éric Sékou Chelle by the Malian Football Federation (Femafoot). This upheaval has intensified tensions between the players and the federation, culminating in a stark ultimatum from the national team players.

Player Ultimatum Amid Rising Tensions

In a press release issued by the team’s captain, Malian players have expressed their frustration with the current state of affairs within Femafoot, highlighting a lack of professionalism and inadequate working conditions.

The players emphasized their commitment to the Malian flag but stressed the urgent need for better support and infrastructure from the federation.

The statement reads: “We, the players of the Mali national team, wish to express our deep concern about the crisis affecting our sport.

For several years, despite our dedication and the faithful support of the public, we have not been able to achieve our objectives.

We fully share your anger and disappointment. It is time to stop hiding reality and ask the right questions to hope to change things.”

Call for Accountability and Professionalism

The players criticized the continuous turnover of coaches and players, suggesting that the real issue lies with the management of Femafoot.

They called for the federation’s leaders to reflect on their ambitions for Malian football and prioritize professionalism to overcome the current challenges.

“We recognize the state’s efforts to improve our infrastructure, but the results are also stagnating because of the mismanagement of our leaders.

We call on the executives of the federation to urgently take their responsibilities,” the statement continued.

Potential Boycott of Future Matches

The players’ declaration goes beyond mere grievances; it includes a serious threat to boycott future qualifying matches if the situation does not improve.

They underscored their willingness to represent Mali with pride but demanded substantial changes from Femafoot to ensure the team’s success on the international stage.

“We, the players, are determined to proudly represent our country, but we need the support and enlightened vision of leaders determined to raise Mali high on the international stage.

This is why, today, we take our responsibilities. If the situation remains unchanged, we reserve the right not to honor the selection and not to participate in the next qualifying matches.”

Appeal to Supporters

Despite the ongoing crisis, the players expressed gratitude towards their supporters and reaffirmed their pride in representing Mali.

They called for unity and collective effort to navigate through the crisis and restore glory to Malian football.

“Thank you to all our supporters for their loyalty and passion. We are proud to wear the colors of the Eagles of Mali and hope that better days are to come.

Together, we can overcome this crisis and bring glory back to Malian football,” the statement concluded.

Moving Forward

The Malian Football Federation is now under immense pressure to address the players’ concerns and implement necessary reforms.

The players’ ultimatum serves as a critical juncture for Malian football, emphasizing the need for professional management and accountability to achieve success on the international stage.

As the situation develops, all eyes will be on Femafoot’s response and the future actions of the Malian national team.

The resolution of this crisis will be pivotal in determining the trajectory of Malian football in the coming years.

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issa said

issa said

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