Amid a massive snub amongst the Ballon d’Or nominees, Sadio Mane came out to lash out against France Football with a clear accusation.
Out of all the Ballon d’Or nominees, only a handful of them were born in Africa like Sadio Mane was. The Liverpool forward wasn’t nominated this year because he didn’t exactly have the best season with the Reds. Out of the two African players who were nominated, Mo Salah shares the dressing room with Mane and Riyad Mahrez plays for Manchester City. But for Mane, there was a giant snub that he truly doesn’t understand. If you talk about goalkeepers, only Gianluigi Donnarumma was nominated this year but there’s another one who deserved a spot.
Mane’s compatriot, Edouard Mendy won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea this season. He proved that Kepa wasn’t the ideal goalie for the Blues with stellar performances in the most competitive club tournament in the world. For Mane, neglect of African-born players is a constant problem that needs addressing more often. Although he might get why he wasn’t on the list, he did come out to defend Mendy.
Mane hints at a different reason for the snub.
Although it might be true that African players were mostly ignored this year, very few of them dare to speak up against this injustice. But not Mane, who didn’t hesitate to highlight a most systemic problem with these lists of nominees. Unlike previous years, African players are not as represented as they have been during the modern era. As per Metro, here’s what Sadio Mane had to say: “I do not understand, these are things to deplore.
“It’s a real shame that Edou isn’t one of them. He is the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League. We must continue to work and move forward. We have to do the double [the work] of some people to be well judged. Edou is a very positive person. We talked about it together. He will continue to fight to be part of it. For me, he has a place among these 30 players.”