The African Cup of Nations – AFCON – has been heavily criticized and rightfully so. Since the beginning of the tournament there have been so many instances where the host country, Cameroon, the organizers, and the confederation of football showed their incapability to run a major tournament and at the same time prove how far behind Soccer and Africa are.
Africa is a pit for talents with top African players playing in the best clubs in Europe like Liverpool (Salah – Egypt, and Mané – Senegal), Manchester City (Mahrez – Algeria), PSG (Hakimi – Morocco), Napoli (Koulibaly – Senegal), Arsenal (Aubameyang – Gabon, Partey – Ghana), etc.
Here’s a list of facts that made everybody’s head shake and sadly bad news are still piling up.
Before the tournament even started, the CAF (Confederation of African Football), declared that at least 11 players per team including goalkeepers, must show negative tests. As the number of positive cases was amounting among teams and proper precautions were not provided with players having to share rooms show how limited the organizers had thought this through. We all know 11 players must be on the field to start the game so this number was a little low as a starter.
Mr. Sikazwe blew the final whistle in the match between Mali and Tunisia with five minutes left into the game, while the Malians were leading 1-0. The match then resumed but the same referee stop the game was 18 seconds left in the 90 minutes of regular time. Two mistakes in less than 10 minutes on one of the football world’s biggest stages are too much. Looking for answers the AFCON claimed that Mr. Sikazwe was suffering from heat and dehydration – a story a little too big to swallow.
Cameroon – Comoros
Another example of a dysfunctional organization was displayed during this knockout game between the host country and the small archipelagos on Africa’s east coast. Comoros’ goalkeeper Ali Ahamada returned the negative Covid test right before the game but the organizers refused to let him play and the biggest match in the country’s history. Another farce provided by the Confederation of African football.
The disorganized AFCON turned into a deadly tragedy before the Cameroon – Comoros match when eight people died trying to get into the stadium in a tragic stampede and leaving another 38 injured. First of all the security concerns are major and then the match should never have been played knowing the tragic circumstances.
There are still games to be played and will hope does this is the end of this farce. The African continent was supposed to be celebrated during the four weeks of the tournament. Instead, it is heavily been criticized for many reasons and shows the failure of the confederation, the organizers, and an entire continent far worse than what we have seen with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.
You do not have to agree the facts are facts