African Administrators Score an Own Goal

On Monday the 25th of January in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Togo team bus and the team’s decision to head home, CAF (Confederation of African Football) chief Issa Hayatou was quoted by the BBC as saying “We did not disqualify them – we simply noted their departure, we wished they would have stayed but respect their decision to leave.”
He and CAF then ridiculously banned the Togo side from the next two African Cup of Nations claiming there was “Political interference” in their decision to depart the competition in Angola.
This again shows a sports administration so out of touch with its members that it is not funny. In 1980 the USA boycotted the Moscow Olympics for political reasons, yet did the IOC ban the USA from competing in the next two Olympics?
The delegates at most of the ruling bodies in sport are so protected in their five star hotels and first class travel that they frequently forget that the people who make their lifestyles possible, the humble player. To have been involved in that ambush and to witness teammates shot would be something that would haunt you for the rest of your life. This is a time for sympathy not highhanded political grandstanding.
The World is heading to Africa in the next four months for the greatest show on earth, the World Cup Finals. If CAF does not bow to public opinion and reverse this opinion, it would be nice to see the football fans from around the world show their support for Togo, by wearing a badge of some kind. This form of mass, silent protest has the power to send a strong message to the likes of Hayatou in his ivory tower, but hopefully by then sense will have prevailed.

African Administrators Score an Own Goal
Tagged on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *