31 January 2010

The older I get the less interest I take in football. I’ve lost the last bit of interest I had in local side West Ham anymore, I don’t give a damn about the overpaid and overrated show ponies in the premiership or any other league, national or overseas. While I was a little outraged at Thierry Henry’s “hand of God” goal that saw the Ireland team lose out on a place at the World Cup finals in South Africa this summer, I simply can’t be bothered with the game anymore.

I had thought that the football world was greedy and sometimes corrupt but I was shocked to see the callousness and sheer stupidity of the African Football Confederation (CAF)

On 8 January, the team coach carrying the Togo national side to its first fixture in the African Cup of Nations was attacked by Cabindan separatists (Cabinda is an Angolan exclave separated from the rest of Angola by the River Congo and territory belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Three people were killed in the attack (the driver, a press officer and the assistant coach) and seven wounded, including at least three players.

Although the players wanted to stay the Togolese government, quite understandably, withdrew the team.

Yesterday the CAF announced that Togo had been banned from the next two Africa Cup of Nations . Furthermore a fine of $50,000 was levied.

CAF stated that the decision to pull the team out amounted to governmental interference in the sport. "The players publicly expressed their willingness to return to the Nations Cup to compete. But the Togo government decided to call back their national team," CAF explained in its statement. "The decision by political authorities contravenes CAF and African Nations Cup regulations."

needless to say the Togolese government was livid "This is a surprise decision and it means that people (CAF) have no consideration for the lives of other human beings," said Interior Minister Pascal Bodjona. "This is insulting to the family of those who lost their lives and those traumatised because of the attack. We had two people dead and others suffered so if those people at CAF had any consideration for others I don't think at this time this is a reasonable decision.“

A team goes to play football but is attacked by a separatist faction. People are killed and several members of the squad are injured. The act of the government of Togo was correct. I can’t believe how crass the football authorities have been here


Nevin said...

you wrote: "The older I get the less interest I take in football."

I believe there is much truth in that sentence because I feel exactly the same way.... :) Maybe men in shorts, running around needlessly doesn't excite me any more. :)

Susan English Mason said...

Watching men in shorts running around needlessly is why I like football.

jams o donnell said...

Haha Nevin!

THat is the only reason the not-wife ever watches the game too!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Need to check CAF's rulebook. It could be saying that until 80% of the team is killed, no withdrawal allowed or summat.

jams o donnell said...

I wouldn't be surprised Snoopy!