The Chairman of the Human Rights Council for Africa Nii Ayitey Anumle Oyanka I, has questioned African leaders over the monies they invest in their national teams in preparation towards football tournys.
According to him, the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) dones not bring anything significant. He added that the tournament spearheaded by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) doesn’t travel outside the African continent likewise the European competitions.
“A tournament that doesn’t travel outside the African continent is useless and meaningless. Instead of the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to do a proper consultation; he will rather sit aloof and organise the tournament anyhow”, Nii Oyanka anticipated.
“Let’s be sincere to ourselves and ask whether the tournament is properly recognised by European journalists, give the tournament mileage as the African journalists give to the European tournaments. Instead of our leaders investing the monies to create jobs, entrepreneurs they will rather pump the money all in the name of national teams”, he lamented.
Adding, King Nii quizzes that “apart from the fame of winning African cup, the so-called most prestigious international soccer trophy, what good do a country and its people get in winning or playing in an Afcon Tournament?”.
“….will the football be better or more meaningful? Will it help African sides prepare for the challenge of the World Cup?”, Is this, in any broad sense, good for the game?”, Nii further probed.
“Of course not, but who still cares about Poor African countries who have been blinded by the meaningless investment in no profit tournaments? Will Africans eat and survive with fame?”, he asked.
This year’s Afcon—which was moved from 2021 due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on Cameroon’s ability to organize it; saw 24 teams vying for the giant trophy after CAF allowed eight more teams at the last edition in 2019.
This change in the biennial tournament led to a review in prize money; champions Algeria received $4.5 million while runners-up Senegal got $2.5 million. CAF decided to further increase these cash prizes at its executive meeting on Jan. 7.
According to King Oyanka I, after this year’s final match on Feb. 6, the winner will receive $5 million while the second-best team will get $2.75 million. There are also increases for the six other teams that qualify for the quarter-final stage. As in previous years, teams that are knocked out before the quarter-finals will not receive cash reward from CAF.
The sad part is that, poor African countries would have to borrow monies from IMF, different foreign organisations and other countries to run theiraffairs. The poor people’s taxes will be spent during preparations for Afcon qualifiers, Camping and the Tournament itself which Cost more than what the winning country earn for winning the tournament.
To win it is even “insulting”, not winning it at all by wasting poor tax payers monies is complete unacceptable, Nii opined.
“Why must you invest 10 million dollars for 5 million dollars, that’s a total loss; and for African countries who are crying and suffering staggering coups for poor governance. You can’t do such a useless investment in a questionable Afcon”, King Oyanka lamented.