African teams' World Cup conduct shameful

JOHANNESBURG - A few writers caught my attention this week following failure by African teams to advance past the second round of the ongoing 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

One African columnist termed the outrageous and avaricious nature displayed by African players at the World Cup as both embarrassing and not projecting a good image for the continent.

The writer said African players suffered from bonusism whose symptoms she said, included boycotting training sessions, making unreasonable monetary demands and fighting on the field of play with the ultimate result being knocked out in a tournament with humiliating outcomes.

Another writer here in Mzansi recalled an old age adage that “money is the root of all evil” in respect to African players’ demands, arguing the issue of bonus scandals derailed the great African dream.

“That is something that African countries at the 2014 Fifa World Cup learned the hard way. West Africa’s obsession with money derailed what could have been a memorable and successful 2014 World Cup finals for the continent,” wrote Billy Cooper in the Daily Sun.

“Once again, greed reared its ugly head before and during the global showpiece, affecting countries like Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria; leaving the world stage in Brazil in disgrace,” added Cooper arguing why a player like Samuel Eto’o, who is worth US$64 million, would want a cent from cash-strapped African Football Associations. It was no surprise that Cameroon was the most embarrassing nation of them all, he concluded.

When Cameroon players refused to board the plane to Brazil, I raised my disappointment at the behaviour of the players though I must admit; I got a fair share of flak from some soccer fans. Those who didn’t agree with me pointed to the fact that the players as the main role actors needed every cent.

I still don’t subscribe to this notion.

For goodness’ sake, most of these players are millionaires and have made their futures very secured in Europe.

The long and short of it is that they are shameless and their conduct sucks to the end. This behaviour has to be nipped in the bud because, for how long are these players going to continue embarrassing the continent like this?

It makes the outside world view Africa as a continent without principles, greed and still a long way to go in order to catch up with the rest of this universe.

Given, if they really think they needed money, why not go and perform and then demand your due reward. Then, you have a solid argument and every Jack and Jill will back that demand through and through.

But to put money ahead of the flag beats me.

Only a few days ago, Greece players refused extra monetary incentives arguing they were at the World Cup for their country and not for personal aggrandisement.

African players need to look at themselves in the mirror and question their standing in society. They have reduced the continent to a laughing stock.

Is it a surprise why after their playing days, most of these players go bankrupt despite having earned millions? The symptoms of poor conduct are already seen by their attitude during their playing era.

Stop the love of money and play for the country.


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