Ian Wright wearing Orlando Pirates attire. Photo: Twitter @IanWright0

VIDEO: AFCON coverage slammed: It’s tinged with racism!

Former England star Ian Wright has hit out at media coverage of Europe-based players travelling to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).


Ian Wright wearing Orlando Pirates attire. Photo: Twitter @IanWright0

In a social media video, Wright suggested the coverage of the upcoming Afcon competition was “disrespectful” and “tinged with racism”. The tournament will kick off on 9 January with various European clubs set to lose key players.

“Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?” Wright said in the video.

“There is no greater honour than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism.

“We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem,” he added.

“You are getting journalists asking players … players getting asked if they will be honouring the call-ups to their national teams. Imagine if that was an English player representing the Three Lions. Can you imagine the furore?”

The video received support from Cameroonian football administrator and former Chelsea player Samuel Eto’o, who said: “There’s no greater honour for a sportsperson than representing your country. The Africa Cup of Nations is a celebration of African pride, and next week’s AFCON will once more prove the undeniable greatness of African Players.”

Afcon tournament under the spotlight

The latest comments about the sentiments towards the Afcon tournament come after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was recently asked about the relief of having no international break until next year March, but appeared to answer with sarcasm when describing the “small” matter of the Afcon tournament.

“I’ve heard that so often that there’s no international break until March. In January, there’s a little tournament in Africa, I just want to say, and I think Asia is playing games, too – South America as well, great, can’t wait,” Klopp commented.

Klopp is set to lose the services of Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Naby Keita (Guinea), and Sadio Mane (Senegal) for the month-long tournament.

A journalist challenged Klopp for what he perceived to be insulting remarks.

However, the Liverpool manager sought to set the record straight, suggesting he was misunderstood.