edited December 2021 in Miscellaneous
So, Ian Wright says the AFCON doesn't get the respect it deserves, and is claiming that's for racist reasons.
Personally I think he's completely missing the point. He's comparing it to the European Championships, but I think the issue for most people is that it falls slap bang in the middle of our club season. Rightly or wrongly, the major football leagues are in Europe, and so arguably it's fair that (FIFA dodginess aside for next year's WC) the World Cup and the Euros are held during the summer break for the European domestic leagues.
I'm sure I heard something a while back that the AFCON was going to be moved to our summer break as well, but certainly this time it's still pulling players out of their domestic leagues to play in it; that's the issue imo. No-one is saying that players shouldn't play and represent their countries, but I certainly understand people (whether within affected clubs, or their supporters) not being thrilled at losing players for a month or so in the middle of the season.
Wright seems to be comparing apples and oranges just to get a headline; not his finest hour imo.
Expect Lawrenson to predict a win for us next!
The 2021 AFCON was also originally going to be played in June/July but moved to January/February 2021 at the request of the Cameroon FA citing "the challenge of unfavourable climatic conditions" (May - September is monsoon season)
That was cancelled due to Covid and switched to January/February 2022.
I got all of that through Google and Wikipedia.
Only African (and Asian) players aren’t automatically assumed to want to play for their countries. Obviously there are reasons for that (AFCON being in the middle of the club season), but just doubting seems like it’s minimising the players’ accomplishment of playing for their countries.
First, that afcon isn't accorded the same respect that the Euros is. I make him right on that.
Second, that the media coverage/ discussion is tinged with racism.
I think it's fair to ask the question, if the tournament is belittled, and the attitude of the media/ fans/clubs is that it's not as important as the domestic league, then is that attitude rooted in a racist outlook ( IE, it's Africa, its a Mickey mouse competition, not like a ' proper' competition that we have here in Europe etc).
Imo, I think it is, for some people of those who opine. In other cases I think it's more just a hangover from colonial arrogance. And in other cases, it's just self-centredness (Liverpool is more important than Egypt).
I don't think Ian Wright is way off the mark, but might be being a bit simplistic. ( If the way the BBC is reporting it is accurate).
AFCON has been held every two years since 1968
The BBC have changed the text in this story by removing any inference of racism that was on the original piece.
"Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?" Wright said on Instagram. Well the Europa Conference League for one.
They also voted to move African club competition from August to May in line with Europe and expand the finals from 16 to 24
They rejected the idea of allowing non-African countries to compete or host the finals
(This also applies to any player who plays for his European nation.)
However I will take an interest in his performance with England as I will be supporting England.
I will take little or no interest in the African/Asian games he may be involved in since I am not African or Asian.
Am I showing AFCON disrespect?
How many times have we had the "Club over Country" debate in this country ? How many people want their club to win a premier league title over a Euro Championship. Most vote for the former.
I don't think I've seen any mainstream media putting AFCON down, more the fans.
I really doubt the media would be asking these questions if the tournament fell outside the club season.
The media just want to pounce on a story where they can catch a club denying a player to go represent their country for headlines.
I thought he was not happy that people moaning that it's in Africa and all the COVID concerns, whereas the Euro's were held during COVID in many, many countries...
I should have read more carefully.....
Watford refusing to let Dennis go to AFCON because Nigeria was late getting the paperwork to the Premier League.
Seems a bit intransigent...