Tense, African football? If sport is supposed to teach fair play, the world of football, steeped in intoxicating business and outrageous chauvinism, has become a field of confrontations, including off the pitch: when the stakes are colossal (World Cup, presidency of federation, etc…), the crocs are out. Normal that Africa does not escape the phenomenon…
It is also normal for everyone to defend their piece of fat through this or that appeal, especially when it comes to accessing the final phase of the World Cup. Following the elimination of Algeria against Cameroon during the play-offs, Fifa was called upon to rule on the arbitration of Gambian Bakary Gassama. Contrary to the rule which advocates a certain restraint while waiting for a verdict, the mill of acid declarations has started to run at full speed.
Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi spoke of conspiracies and a referee who should not have been « comfortably installed at Algiers airport in the lounges » « drinking coffee and a millefeuille ». Without knowing if the problem came from the hot drink or the pastry, the Cameroonian, Algerian and even French tongues were immediately untied. In the heavy sky of controversy, we then accused ourselves of being “scandalous” and “defamatory”, even “mediocre” and downright “racist”.
Didier Drogba did not succeed in his bet in Côte d’Ivoire and suffered some rudeness as a bonus
Epiphenomenon? After Egypt’s fatal penalty shoot-out loss to Senegal in a World Cup play-off match, Egyptian Football Federation President Gamal Allam complained of the « hostile atmosphere » in which « the match [se serait] cheek « . “We did not ask for the game against Senegal to be replayed. We have demanded direct qualification from Egypt for the World Cup,” he claimed. Fifa, however, did not disqualify the reigning African champion.
The electoral campaigns for the presidencies of the federations are no more serene. If Didier Drogba did not succeed in his bet in Côte d’Ivoire, he suffered as a bonus some rudeness which even led to arrests. On April 27, the so-called Inoussa Zoungrana, supporter of candidate Sory Diabaté, took up residence at the Abidjan Remand and Correctional Center (Maca), charged with public insults, in particular towards… the mother of the former winner of the Champions League. Was the affront worth it? Neither Diabaté nor Drogba were elected to head the Ivorian Football Federation. Sportsmanship, are you there?