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Senegalese Wrestling Resumes After Six Months of Uncertainty.

Wrestling is up and running again in West African nation Senegal after a six-month reign of uncertainty.
The season started well with multi-million CFA combats being signed and proposed by fight promoters. But barely two months into the new campaign, trouble began brewing with wrestlers left in the dark over their fighting dates.
Staging combats involving arena juggernauts namely; Balla Gaye, Modou Lo, Eumeu Sene or King of Arena Bombardier costs astronomical sums which only few promoters can handle.
Promoters arranging such duels are often supplemented by mega companies as sponsors to foot the bill of price fights.
Last year this time, promoters like Aziz Ndiaye and Luc Nicolai took the risk of tying Balla Gaye, Bomardier and Eumeu to deals in what could have been the biggest face-offs of the season but without a particular mention of when the fights will be held.
The situation had doubts hovering over whether any combats will in fact be organised amid rife fears of the national sport’s decline.
The proposed fight between Arena title holder Bombardier and Eumeu Sene has been postponed five times to an extent that both wrestlers, having grown frustrated by the countless meetings with the promoter, threatened to opt out of the deal.
Bombardier even said he wouldn’t mind listening to other bids from ‘serious-minded promoters’ if the clash is rescheduled once more beyond last December while Eumeu revealed he’d exhausted his stake of the price money all in preparation and even forked out an additional four million of his own, owing to numerous adjournments of the combat.
The stadium stampede last July at Stade Demba Diop caused the delay of many fights, a case in point being the Modou Lo/Lac de Guier cracker.
The duel had to be put off just hours before the contest when pavilions of the Demba Diop collapsed after violence broke out amongst fans watching a League Cup final.
The stampede, that prompted the country into national mourning, left at least eight football-crazed fans dead and others severally wounded.
Six months to date, the stadium, frequently used as ground for wrestling events, is being rebuilt with the process far from completion.
This drawback is also blamed for the delays in combats with fight promoters the least receptive to suggestions of staging battles in venues other than Demba Diop, as they fear incurring losses.
These trying times had pundits wary over the demise of the much favoured national sport watched by millions across the continent and beyond.
The aforesaid bottlenecks still persist but a promoter days ago, braved the storm to stage a combat of huge eminence featuring Baol’s Tapha Tine and Yekini Jr at a venue of less than 20,000.
In that fight, the promoter Pape Galis knew he wouldn’t rake up many funds as previous but still went ahead to hold the encounter.
This defiance has encouraged many more promoters to follow suit with numerous combats now being lined up.
Modou Lo is now slated to rub shoulders with Lac de Guier on January 28th, a tie which is expected to be followed by the match between Sa Thies –Balla Gaye’s sibling – and Boy Niang.


Featured Photo: Courtesy

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