Football – Joan of Arc of Dakar: The death knell?

Football – Joan of Arc of Dakar: The death knell?
Football – Joan of Arc of Dakar: The death knell?

A multi-sports club with a strong identity, a rich past and a beautiful image forged over several decades, the JA is today only manifested through its basketball and to a lesser extent handball and athletics. For football, which was the flagship, we have lowered our flag for more than a decade.

Greatness in the past for the century-old football club, anonymity today. This situation is heartbreaking for those who love the club. . Few of today’s teenagers know this club which, even after falling into sporting insignificance, still holds one of the best records in Senegalese football locally and internationally.

For the umpteenth time, the attempt to join the elite will not be made. The team will remain in the 3rd division. One day before the end of the National 1 championship (pool B), mass is said. One of the most illustrious clubs and undoubtedly among the most popular before its fall is as if struck by a form of impotence to return among the elite that it should not have left in our opinion and for reasons that It would take a long time to elaborate here. Who explains the situation of this club?

The blue and white still have supporters if we take into account, even if only those who have worn their colors. There is no question here of overwhelming anyone in a club which internally is quite conflict-provoking all the same. The most important thing is to look ahead and see to what extent reconstruction is possible.

The traditional club model of the early 1960s is obsolete. Contributions and sponsorship could meet the needs of amateur training. Thanks to patrons, there are still a few survivors in the cabin. This management can last as long as the benefactors are able to bail them out, but the sustainability of such a system is not viable in the medium term. Apart from this financing coming from a single person, training and transfers – inevitable – due to the economic context of local football are palliatives for other clubs. Clubs backed by “academies” should be placed in this category. Their links with other foreign professional football also allow them to find subsidies allowing them to be in enviable conditions. Without a patron and without an academy or training center, the very poor JA finds itself in the category of clubs which manage to survive. JA has been absent from the elite since 2011. Thirteen years. A time when clubs were born, grew and joined the elite.

The quarrels and enmities – it’s an open secret – which have punctuated the life of this legendary club must be put away in the locker room. Today, we should call for a large gathering to succeed in relaunching the club. People of good will with a vision and the means for their project exist. It is time to save Joan of Arc who must find her place in Senegalese football.

Mamadou Koumé, Journalist

#Senegal

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