Boycott threats rock Africa Cup of Nations over players’ delayed payments
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is well underway in Egypt and apart from the sumptuous servings of football, international star players gracing the event with the trendiest hairstyles and the passionate support from the fans, the age-old issue of delayed in payments has yet again surfaced.
So far Cameroon, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have threatened to go on strike over delayed payments while there have also been rumours of uneasiness within Taifa Stars’ camp.
Here are the details:
1. Cameroon – The Indomitable Lions, who are the defending champions, flatly refused to fly to Egypt on the eve of the tournament after the players failed to agree with the government and Football Association on how much each of them will receive as bonuses.
The impasse was eventually be solved and Cameroon, now coached by former Real Madrid star Clarence Seedorf, left for Egypt and arrived late, risking a penalty by caf.
The payment dispute notwithstanding, the Indomitable Lions got off to a perfect start with a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday night at the Ismailia Stadium in Ismailia.
2. Nigeria – The BBC has confirmed that Nigeria’s players are in dispute with the country’s football federation in the build-up to Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations match against Guinea.
According to the report, none of the Super Eagles players has received allowances or an estimated Sh1 million bonus.
The Nigeria Football Federation is hoping to prevent a strike before the match in Egypt on Wednesday.
This even after Nigeria players failed to turn up for the mandatory pre-match briefing on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s game against Guinea.
At the presser, Caf’s media officer Collins Okinyo, a Kenyan, said the player who had been handed the role of speaking to the media was ‘unwell’.
The team’s coach Gernot Rohr on the other hand said that his players remained behind for an ‘important’ meeting.
“My player (Ahmed Musa) could attend the press conference today because they have an important meeting. I just hope the situation can be resolved so we can focus on what we have in front of us,” Rohr said.
Your guess is as good as mine on the agenda of that meeting.
3. Tanzania – There have also been reports that the Tanzania national football team players failed to train earlier this week. This was in connection with ‘assurances’ the players needed in regard to when the money will hit their bank accounts.
Tanzania lost 2-0 to Senegal on Sunday in Cairo in their opening match of the tournament, an outcome that didn’t go down well with President John Pombe Magufuli, who harshly criticizing Taifa Stars’ lackluster performance.
Tanzania’s next fixture in the tournament will be against Kenya on Thursday night (kickoff 11pm Kenyan time) in what will be a must-win match for both teams.
4. Zimbabwe – The Zims landed in Egypt on time ahead of the opening match of the tournament against the hosts. But the team made headlines for threatening to boycott that match which they eventually lost 1-0.