Senegal had picked up more yellow cards, so they're out.
In Russia, three African teams - Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia - were out before the third group games started, Nigeria suffered late heartbreak against Argentina and Senegal's exit is ultimately set to become a World Cup quiz question for the ages.
"It's the rules of the game, they've been established by Federation Internationale de Football Association and we have to respect it, even though we would have liked to have been eliminated another way", he said. He said the "fair play" rule was clear to all teams. "We do hope we'll hear good news once he's gone for his check-up".
Japan barely attacked in the end of its 1-0 loss to Poland - preferring instead to take a safety first approach against a team that was already out of contention - because it was due to qualify on its disciplinary record ahead of Senegal.
Supporting this assertion, John Nwude, River Lane FC of Enugu player, noted that if such occurrences were not adequately addressed, Africa would never reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Cisse said it was "sad" and a "shame" for Senegal to go out in such a way, and conceded that maybe his players had been too committed in their tackling.
The fair play tiebreaker is based on the number of yellow and red cards a team has been given throughout the tournament.
"Senegal has not qualified because we don't deserve it". Under the rules of the 2014 World Cup, a drawing of lots would have been used in this situation.
The first tiebreakers, goal differential and goals scored, couldn't determine a victor - the teams both had a goal differential of 0 and had scored four goals each.
"They are both world-class teams", he said.
The Samurai Blue advanced to the round of 16 at the expense of the Senegalese as a result, and Cisse said it was something he and his team would have to accept.
"Looking at other teams here, I don't think we should be ashamed of our football". Note: According to Federation Internationale de Football Association rules, if two teams are on same points, have same goal difference, scored equal number of goals and are equal on all head-to-head counts, the teams are separated by Fairplay points.