It is unfortunate to lose five souls in the prime of the age after a semi-final of a game organized as part of the “Navétanes” in the department of Rufisque. Yet Amadou Thiam, a young Senegalese writer, has repeatedly warned the government about the need to reflect on the content and form of these holiday activities that occupy a good part of the youth. In his book published in 2018 and entitled “Senegal from Today to Tomorrow”, he spoke about the violence in the Navétanes, focusing on the real causes of a rampant social phenomenon. Ze-africanews invites you to discover this passage from the book of this professor who has thoroughly analyzed the breakthrough of violence in Senegal.
‘The spread of violence and delinquency are rampant social phenomena and unimaginable things in a country like ours often involve young people negatively. The frequency of violent acts is striking, such as murders, assaults, rapes, thefts, attacks on morals, the great banditry committed by young unemployed people. These barbaric, atrocious acts, which constitute the shame of a traditionally peaceful, peaceful, hard-working and dignified society, are taking on such a scale that, if one is not careful, the country risks sinking into a psychosis of crime, of insecurity difficult to overcome (…)”
It is the same with the practice of popular neighborhood football called “navétanes”. It is the opportunity that is presented to a fringe of youth idle, without reference points, without hope of a better tomorrow because accustomed to easy gain and idleness to sow trouble in society. The Navétanes, despite their strong social significance, are the bedrock of violence and delinquency. Every year, fights or battles between residents of neighborhoods make victims, nose and beard of the defence and security forces, and administrative authorities who allow these exciting and very passionate meetings.
For example, at the Alboury Ndiaye Stadium in Louga, on Saturday, October 25, 3015, a young man named Cherif Ly, aged 14, died after the explosion of a grenade launched by an element of the Mobile Intervention Group (GMI) in the gallery. The young man was trampled by a large number of spectators who tried to flee. A week later, in Bounkiling, in the region of Sedhiou, a 20-year-old was beaten to death by the opposing supporters and, had it not been for the intervention of the soldiers stationed a few cables away, the worst would have happened.
Even the president of Senegal’s traditional communicators, El Hadji Mansour Mbaye, a celebrity in social mediation and traditions, was the victim of the fury of young people the same month (October 2015), his house having been the target of stones of supporters of the HLM 5 team, on the occasion of the final of the zone 3.
The most spectacular macabre drama took place at the Demba Diop Stadium on 15 July 2017 during the final of the league cup between the Ouakam Sports Union and the Mbour Stadium with a dozen dead and more than 80 wounded.
Usually, after matches or fights, groups of supporters commonly called in the “small” juvenile language, ravage everything in their path by flying, assaulting and raping all those they meet (…)”
Note that the Navétanes are a popular football championship between the Sports and Cultural Associations (ASC) of different neighborhoods. It is a competition that creates a lot of excitement among young people who, unfortunately, often forget the rules of sport and engage in violence after games.