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AFCON tinged with racism - Video of Ex English player, Wright lashing out at anti-AFCON claims
- The African Cup of Nations is just weeks off and African players are not being allowed to join their national teams for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Cup of Nations
- European Clubs Association (ECA) threatened to not release their players for the January 2022 continental showpiece in an attempt to force CAF from staging the tournament
- Former England forward, Ian Wright, has in a video lashed out at the "disrespect" and "racism" meted out to the African Cup of Nations and its players
The ex England men national team player, who admitted that there were no greater honor for a player than representing his or her country colors, noted that the AFCON deserved more respect.
He cited the fact that most of the best players in Europe now, were either African or had African heritage, something he thought should be good enough to warrant more respect of the AFCON.
"Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations? There is no greater honor than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism", Wright said on his Instagram.
Ian Wright further pointed out the hypocrisy of those suggesting the AFCON should be played at a later time because of the coronavirus by pointing out when the Euros was played and the danger that posed.
"We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there's no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem", he opined.
Wright who is now a football pundit with the BBC among others, noted how there would have been an uproar if an English player were asked if he or she were going to honor a national team call up, something that was done to Ajax and Ivory Coast's Sebastian Haller.
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"There are players getting asked if they will be honoring the call-ups to their national teams. Imagine if that was an England player representing the Three Lions. Can you imagine the furore?
"Loads of the best players in Europe right now are African. If we love them at club level, why can't we love them at international level like their counterpart from across the globe?", he quizzed.
The 58-year-old praised Sabastian Haller for standing his ground and principle and also Crystal Palace manager, Patrick Vieira for demanding the AFCON be respected, stating that the actions of the French manager was why it was so important to have a black manager.
"Why is this tournament constantly getting so much flack? I have to say shout out to the countries that have qualified and to players like Sebastian Haller who had taken a stand against the media backlash plus Patrick Vieira for coming out and speaking about it.
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"This is again why it is important that you do have a black manager, you can let people understand where his roots are and how important this tournament is for African people", Wright went onto add.
He finished by wishing host nation Cameroon, African players and fans, a successful tournament.
"The shaming has gone on for too long. I just want to wish Cameroon all the success with hosting this tournament and like I said to the players, all the very best to you and the fans."
The 24-team competition begins on 9 January and ends in February 6 2022.
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