Saturday, January 30, 2010

Criminally moronic CAF add insult to injury... and death

There've been many reasons that Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou should be sacked. The quality of football on the continent has improved dramatically since the Cameroonian took over way back in 1988. He re-shaped the continent's premier club tournament into a more high profile African Champions League. The international African Nations Cup has dramatically gained in prestige and importance in the last two decades.

But under Hayatou's reign, CAF has spectacularly failed to capitalized on the increased interest in the Champions League and especially the Nations' Cup. The tournaments are almost impossible to find on television anywhere.

Despite intense interest outside the continent, the Nations Cup is only available in most countries via an expensive online scheme. I have no idea if the Champions League is available at all.

CAF has made some egregious decisions in awarding the Nations' Cup. Tournaments, such as the 2008 edition in Ghana, are often plagued by organizational difficulties. The continental body inexplicably awarded the 2012 Nations' Cup jointly to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, two of the most corrupt countries in the world, the latter being closed and repressive on a par with North Korea or Burma.

The awarding of the current year's tournament to Angola was less egregious, except for CAF allowing matches to be held in the unstable province of Cabinda, a decision which had deadly consequences.

A bus carrying the Togolese national team was attacked by Cabindan rebels as it crossed the border from Congo-Brazzaville into Cabinda, where it was playing first round matches. Three members of the Togolese entourage were killed and one of its goalkeepers seriously injured in the attack; naturally the other members of the team were badly shaken.

CAF and Angola's dictatorship initially tried the Kremlin approach, but denying that any attack took place at all. It was just a ruptured tire, they said. Because noise from a blown tire lasts 20 minutes.

Finally, the "organizers" admitted that the gun attack took place by placed blame squarely on the shoulders of the Togolese. They said Togo should've flown to the Angolan capital Luanda and then to Cabinda, rather than go overland. They gave no explanation of why they allowed tournament matches to be held in a place that was not safe to drive in.

After some discussion, the Togolese government ordered its shell-shocked players to come home, since the criminally negligent authorities in Angola and CAF quite obviously couldn't guarantee anyone's security.

Rather than an apology for forcing players to play in a war-afflicted province or showing understanding toward witnesses to a massacre, CAF has incomprehensibly suspended Togo from the next two Nations' Cups.

CAF is complicit via negligence in the deaths of the three members of Togo's delegation. And yet it's Togo who is punished for being the only ones who gave a damn about their players' safety. Or maybe Togo's fault is having been stupid enough to trust the judgment of the morons at CAF and the Angolan dictatorship's spinmeisters.

For this whole series of criminal stupidity, Issa Hayatou and the entire CAF executive committee should be sacked... to say nothing of lifting the ban of the victims of this whole affair, the Togolese team.

Labels: , , ,


At 8:40 AM, Blogger Dany K. Ayida said...

Thank you for this analysis. Your commitment to Africa is the prouf that you know this continent and its inhabitants.

Please, joijn us on facebook:


At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Red Bull of Soccer said...

disgusting and horrific to say the least!


Post a Comment

<< Home