AFCON: Has the tourney lost it’s beauty?

Feet hasten towards a common purpose, eyes relishing a fine spectacle, anticipation build, 6 smooth stadia, 24 teams and a golden trophy worth dying for. Everything about to go down in few days as Cameroun awaits.

The biggest football tournament in Africa, The African cup of Nations is almost here and the black continent is pretty much raring to go, much to the ecstasy of football lovers in Africa, and perhaps across the globe.

However, there appears to be a cause for concern and questions as to whether the tourney has lost it’s essence. Many years ago, almost everyone around the world look forward to this beautiful African tournament, but this time around, even some players are far from interested in the competition, while the press hasn’t even helped a bit.

Some weeks back, Liverpool gaffer Klopp referred to the football event as a “little tournament”, albeit he was quick to iterate that he only meant it figuratively rather than literally. Days ago, a press man asked if Ajax’s Sebastien Haller would prefer to stay back at Ajax or travel with Ivory Coast after being called up for the tournament. Haller felt disappointed and asked if same question would have been asked of an European player if roles were reversed.

All of these unraveling events coupled with several calls for cancelation, under the guise that Cameroun the host country isn’t quite safe enough to host the tourney considering the recent rise in the coronavirus have put question marks on the importance of the competition. But it really beats me, The Euros was played across 10 Countries and there was no fuss, but for a single country in Africa, and we are talking plenty.

The question now is, after 32 successful editions, Has the AFCON lost it’s mojo?

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Kayode Adegunloye

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