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More players dump Afcon

By Sy Lerman | Dec 11, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 19 ]

STEVEN Pienaar has set a trend by effectively withdrawing from the Nations Cup. Other African footballers, who play in Europe, are also turning their back on the tournament.

This is likely to further raise the ire of SA Football Association vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, who is also chairman of the Afcon organising committee. Ghana great Michael Essien (Real Madrid); Togo's most acclaimed player, Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur); and Mali's Samba Diakite (Queens Park Rangers) have signified their intention to miss the South Africa-based tournament.

Nonkonyana blasted Pienaar as "selfish and egotistical" after imploring him to reconsider his retirement from international football. Nonkonyana's plea is also in contrast with the earlier statement by Safa indicating that "Pienaar had served Bafana in the past and was entitled to decide his own future".

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund also put a dampener on this possibility after a recent meeting with Pienaar in England, saying bluntly "he won't be playing in the Afcon".

Essien, on loan to Spanish champions Real Madrid from Chelsea, says he is at a vital stage of his career and needs to establish his future at club level, having suffered in the past because of his international matches.

Adebayor has lambasted the Togolese football administration and vowed not to play at international level again. And relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers are doing all they can not to lose Diakite during the Afcon in January and February.

A Fifa edict stipulates that clubs must release players for continental club tournaments, but this rule can be circumvented if a player retires from international competition.

Newcastle United earlier said they would do all they could not to release star Senegal strikers Papiss Demba Cissé and Demba Ba for the Afcon. The threat, however, fell away when Senegal failed to qualify.

But the disconcerting misgiving of Afcon and Safa officials is that the withdrawal of star attractions from the blue riband event of African soccer might not yet have come to an end.

COMMENTS [ 19 ]

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This is a serious challenge. Immediate intervention is needed.

Dec 11, 2012 8:2 | 0 replies

There is a gerntleman in the LOC who is going to be very disappointed, because there's not gonna be enough millions for him to dip his fingers without being noticed. He was probably hoping this would be an extension of the SABC Board gravy train. But...hey my man ...you win some you lose some...

Dec 11, 2012 4:5 | 0 replies

All i see is just more immigrants who would not want to leave after the tournament. This tournament has no oomph really.

Dec 11, 2012 12:57 | 0 replies

It is time the Football Leaders accept that Football is business and players must be paid for their contributions, if their teams pay more than the Country, then I guess, it is only fair for them to make a business decision, hunger knows no Patriotism, playing for the Country means nothing this days, but putting foot on the table for me and my family comes first, Football associations won't put foot on the table when i retire, so I guess players must try all they can to collect as much as they could when able. How much AFCON pays the Teams that qualified, I don't remember them coming out and telling us how teams get paid, I think is only in Africa were finances are hiden, how much revenue does AFCON get from all these Countries, Sponsors, they must tell us or are they just corrupt as well.

Dec 11, 2012 12:17 | 0 replies

I know for sure this has everything to do with the deafening noise of the vuvuzelas.These guys are used to play in front fans clapping hands rather than the annoying noise made by vuvuzelas.

Dec 11, 2012 12:11 | 0 replies

Until CAF get rid of that corrupt tyrant and arrogant Issa Hayatou I am not blaming these players what is more important is where your bread is buttered the standard of soccer in Africa is mediocre compared to Europe and elsewhere in the world be acsue of that Stup!d

Dec 11, 2012 11:6 | 0 replies

MarryMeNow

Although I can’t marry you; I agree with you on this one

Dec 11, 2012 11:6 | 0 replies

Sy Lerman, you article is crap journalist. You don’t have to use Pienaar’s name in vain like that you coward. He has a right to choose what he wants, when and how. If he gets injured now, what will you do for him?

It is journalist like you who continue to force governments of the Earth to ban media because of your irresponsible reporting.

Dec 11, 2012 11:5 | 0 replies

They are brainwashed by Europian media.

Dec 11, 2012 11:3 | 0 replies

I am aware about the dynamics in terms of the way football is run in Africa, which leaves a lot to be desired. However, money have taken over the beautiful game at the expense of patriotism in terms of a player representing his own country. If Lucas Hadebe, George Weah, Drogba represented their respective country, why are other African players choosing otherwise. I think surely we need to scrutinise the so called soccer agents, because they are advising players wrongly because they are only looking at their interests and not the players one.

By the way, where do these players who snub their country for their teams end up what is left of their so called careers? I do not rave about overseas clubs and unless Africa hold on to their talented players by building competitive Leagues and remunerating her players well, we need to end this overseas dependency syndrome. I am calling for an African football reinnaisance, where her players will shun Europe because they are made in Africa for Africa.

Dec 11, 2012 10:41 | 0 replies

You cant have a continental tournament played twice in a space of a year! That is all because of Issa Hayatou's greed for money. Broadcast rights owned by his son! When they changed to odd years, people suggested Afcon be played in 2015 (three years later) rather than 2013. But Hayatou has to make him money. You cant blame the teams. They release players for every other confederation once every four years but they have to release the African players in 2012 and 2013?? And they still have to pay their salaries? Bull dust!

Dec 11, 2012 10:9 | 0 replies