With the two sides having drawn 2-2 in their group fixture, meaning their head-to-head record was also level, it then went to the next deciding parameter - fair play.
If England and Belgium were to finish with the same number of fair play points, Federation Internationale de Football Association would draw lots to decide first place in the group.
Because of the way things shaped up in group play, Japan and Senegal were tied in points, goal differential and goals scored, and since they played to a 2-2 draw, the head-to-head tiebreakers were even as well.
"We haven't qualified because of fair play". "We didn't qualify because we've earned more yellow cards, but I'm proud of my lads, they've worked hard for this tournament and I think we've showed we can have a bright future". As a result, Senegal heads home and Japan survives to play at least another game.More news: Political novice Ocasio-Cortez defeats longtime U.S. Rep
"In any case, these are the rules of the game and we have to respect them, but we would have preferred to be eliminated in another way".
Previously, a random drawing of lots would have decided which team would advance between Japan and Senegal.
Cisse, however, said he was not lamenting his players' bookings. "It's hard to play well at the World Cup if you don't play with a lot of commitment", Cisse said.
"I do not know if this rule is cruel or not, but I can't ask my players to jump on the court to not receive yellows", said the Senegalese coach, visibly disappointed. "There is not much difference between the top teams and the others".