“Afro pessimism” at the Cup of Nations?

  THIS JUST IN FROM REUTERS  “Togo will be disqualified from the African Nations Cup finals if they do not show up for Monday’s Group B match against Ghana in Cabinda, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said”

And reading around the web, there’s an undercurrent of ‘afropessimism’ in many newspaper editorials. This blog gives a bit of a round up of what being said internationally. Whereas this one argues that this attack shouldn’t be used to stereotype the whole of Africa. And this article inevitably asks about the terror threat during the 2010 World Cup.

So is this down to ‘afro pessimism’? Or should African football authorities be realistic about the terror threat during 2010?

Here’s Ros original post:
The Togo players have now voted to stay and play despite their government recalling the team. If Togo does leave, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso will have to decide if they want to play out the group in Cabinda. This BBC forum is asking if the whole tournament should be cancelled (something the Angolans are dismissing as an idea)? You can follow the BBC’s Richard Connelly on Twitter as he covers the story in Angola. Meanwhile the South Africans say this has no bearing on the World Cup. What should happen now?

37 Responses to ““Afro pessimism” at the Cup of Nations?”

  1. 1 Jude Addo-Chidie
    January 9, 2010 at 22:01

    what a mess in Angola. Shame on the organizers for making things seem well-in Angola-when not. The truth always comes out however the means. Angola/CAF want wants what’s best for Angola/CAF but Togo did what’s best for Togo. This is hardtalk but the games shoud be called off if security cannot be assured.

  2. 2 kadi
    January 9, 2010 at 22:05

    A few weeks ago the Africa HYS debated about the concerns of staging the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and having visited the country twice last year I expressed my view that it was perhaps premature for Angola to be having a tournament of such magnitude with security still a concern. Many reacted by saying as an African living abroad I was being too pessimistic! I was not I was being factual while in Angola we had security detail wherever we went and unfortunately opportunistic groups are trying to derail what is in principal an attempt at resurrecting Angola’s decimated infrastructure. In Togo’s case yes they have to put the psychological welfare of the players first so withdrawing is the only practical thing to do at the moment. Staging part of the tournament in Cabinda was never a bright idea, it has been an unstable area for decades so why risk players lives? All teams meant to play in Cabinda should insist the venue be changed!

  3. 3 Kindi Jallow
    January 10, 2010 at 01:12

    Togo has the right to leave and mourn their dead, this is a shuck to the whole continent of Africa. In the Gambia some people often experss their feelings of sadness for the death of the driver and those wonded during the shooting incident and condem the act as inhuman and barbaric. Human jealously can cloud good judgment and turn good intentions into bad decisions as has always been in the case of Africa.

  4. 4 Urias Goll
    January 10, 2010 at 01:29

    I believe that cancelling the tournament will give the plotters an edge of “successful Mission accomplished.” Its time we condemn such act and refuse to buy-in to the ruthless and inhumane attitude of selfish Africans claiming to be freedom fighters and liberators.

    What the rebels did was not a way of getting international attention. There has been a peace deal signed and their leaders took the gravy Jobs in Luanda why should they still continue? Anyway if they want to.. then the talented entertainers and family men should not be targeted. The tournament must be held with tighter security.


    • 5 TomK in Mpls
      January 11, 2010 at 18:29

      There is a big difference between giving an edge, acknowledging an edge and giving them the opportunity to prove they have the edge. What is it worth to prove the point? What would your view be if you were on the team?

  5. 6 Tan Boon Tee
    January 10, 2010 at 05:15

    Togo has the right to pull out of the Cup of Nations to mourn the unexpected loss of its players.

    But the tournament must go on, it is the pride of Angola and Africa at large, it must not succumb to terrorism.

  6. 7 FoxMajik
    January 10, 2010 at 07:08

    I believe they’ve changed their minds. Might want to update your blog.

  7. 8 noble
    January 10, 2010 at 11:39

    Togo should take part of the competetion and add it to their history.it will be sad but wonderfull to remember.

  8. 9 cyndy
    January 10, 2010 at 15:05

    what has happened is tragic and the players must listen to the governments decision and pull out of the tournament. afterall money is not everything

  9. January 10, 2010 at 15:11

    HELLO :
    I am Abraham kromah a Liberian live in Ghana, it is better to clean and take away the bad dogs from your house,when you i about to welcome strangers.

  10. January 10, 2010 at 15:18

    NO,they should not.it already happen just forget it.

  11. January 10, 2010 at 15:27

    Does it matter? the tournament is fixed anyway.

  12. 13 Okot Lamson
    January 10, 2010 at 16:56

    Togo should leave the cup of the nation because it is a sign that, they may die as they continue to play
    it should be a message to the african that security is more important in any places
    Togolese are to go home for funeral morning than to continue playing with sorrowful heart and sadness

  13. January 10, 2010 at 20:13

    Although, as an Arsenal fan i wouldn’t really want Adebayor to return to Man City so soon, but what has happened to the Togo team is scaring, unacceptable, and condemnable. They must leave, and leave the soonest possible!

    George, Lilongwe, Malawi

  14. 15 @guykaks
    January 11, 2010 at 08:11

    This is asad moment in Africa in general and awake up call for security measures to be put in place in the upcoming event(World Cup).I strongly believe Togo should quit the event or they are bound to lose the African Cup Of Nations.

  15. 16 Peter Calabar
    January 11, 2010 at 12:55

    Off the cuff, I’d say they should leave. However, just think what great honor they’d be doing to the memory of their slain team-members if they stayed back and competed. It wouldn’t matter to us all whether they lost or won their matches. If they lost, most of us would say “yeah, they were badly shook up”…But check out if they won. Their fans would be delirious with joy and pride in the team, and people would say: “in spite of the catastrophe they still held their own…What spirit!”

    Sometimes chickening out is the wrong way out. Terrorists should frequently be shown that their objective to scare isn’t working.

  16. January 11, 2010 at 14:09

    emotionally n psychological they are down so to me they gave it an obviously gud choice.

  17. 18 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    January 11, 2010 at 14:28

    My sympathies go out to the Togo players and all Togolese and my condolences to the bereaved families.

    But, a decision was taken long ago for Angola to stage this tournamant. Terrorism is unfortunately rampant these days and Angola is not an exception. A few weeks ago, President Obama was campaigning for the US City of Chicago to stage the Olympics, yet the US has seen the most devestating acts of terrorism in the 9/11 strikes. And only recently there was an aborted terror strike aboard an airliner. Should such acts disqualify the US from aspiring to stage world sporting events? I don’t think so.

    I don’t recall the year, but the Olympics in Munich were subjected to a terror attack when the Israeli contingent was targeted. Were there calls to cancel the games? I do not recall that there were. And even if there were, they were not heeded. So the Africa Cup of Nations should proceed. The r3emaining African stars should showcase their talent for all the world to see.

    I have a feeling that those Europeans calling for cancellation are doing so MOSTLY to get their teams back to full strength at a crucial time in their domestic competitions.

  18. 19 Dennis Junior
    January 11, 2010 at 14:59

    Yes, I am supportive of the fact of Togo withdrawing from the Cup of Nations in Angola—due to the recent violence in country….

    But, I must follow the theory—from the CAF regarding the decision of disqualification of Togo….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  19. January 11, 2010 at 15:06

    I think they should go back to Angola and continue with the championship. It is really demoralizing and unfortunate but the competition cannot be stopped. It must move on.

  20. 21 Linda from Italy
    January 11, 2010 at 15:20

    I wholeheartedly agree with a leader in the UK newspaper The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-let-the-team-decide-1863921.html it should be for the Togo team, and only them to decide whether they would be honouring their dead and injured colleagues better by pulling out and going home to mourn, or by playing on bravely, despite what they have been through.
    I seem to remember that FIFA rules enjoin governments to stay out of national football association management and some sides have been banned precisely for such interference, so let the boys make the decision.
    By the way, I also agree with Henry N.Y. (Kampala) that I can’t really take the English Premier League teams’ crocodile tears too seriously, many of them would be delighted to see the whole thing cancelled, and I’m saying this as a Chelsea supporter of over 40 yrs and my team will be missing Drogba in a big way!

  21. January 11, 2010 at 15:23

    The calls for the cancellation of the championship are coming from European teams which would have prefered to keep the African stars in their clubs and prevent them from partiipating in the championship. Where has it been heard that a championship is cancelled because of casualties?

  22. 23 George in Kenya
    January 11, 2010 at 15:24

    I think it is absurd that Togo have been trying to blame their mistakes on someone else.They should never have travelled by bus and the CAF rules are clear on that.They only have themselves to blame.

  23. 24 JanB
    January 11, 2010 at 15:33

    That’s what you get from letting a country like Angola host the tournament.

    I do agree with the players and coach of Togo that they should decide whether they want to stay or go home.
    If they go home the tournament should still be played, otherwise the scum that tried to shoot the players will have won.

    January 11, 2010 at 16:13

    It is up to the Togo team what suits them best. I however feel that terrorists should not be allowed to dictate their terms to the free world. They should be reminded that none of the people of Togo are part of the government in Luanda which they are fighting.
    In my view, they should continue with the tournament and the Angola should bring apprehend and punish these terorrists.

  25. 26 teej
    January 11, 2010 at 16:45

    Firstly, the Decision to disqualify them if they do not turn up for the match
    (given that physically, they are able, if not emotionally) is the correct one. This suggests that the organisors are focusing on the event, which is their job. A lot of investment goers into such things and they are not easily reorganized. The call from the european clubs is only a reflection of the state of the European football scene. All money and business. As someone who has been in the midst of organizing world championship events (in a different sports), the politics has become insane. It is all about pr and (as quoted to me by an Olympic selector), making sure the right person wins getting the result. Sports isnt sports at this , it is business and politics

  26. 27 Ewewale
    January 11, 2010 at 16:49

    Let’s leave out blames, politics, and pessimism.

    These players have lost loved ones but they still love the game so they are in the best position to decide.
    CAF should respect their decision, stop threatenin but start findin ways to make the tournament successful.

    The European teams callin for cancellation should just listen to how they sound.

    Sent on a phone using T9space.com

  27. 28 Hilary Mulenga
    January 11, 2010 at 17:17

    China hosted the Olympics despite negative publicity by Europe and America. Africans should stand up for Angola and South Africa like our Chinese coallegues. What happened to the Togolese team is regretable but it shouldn’t dampen the African spirit to host the current tournament and South Africa 2010.

  28. January 11, 2010 at 17:52

    Africa deserves the reputation they’ve given themselves. Don’t blame others!

  29. 30 nana kwarteng
    January 11, 2010 at 17:58

    Here we go again. ‘Cancel’ the whole tournament? When will the western media learn to mind their own business. True, it’s ridiculous some of the decisions CAF and the Angolans made; like selecting Cabinda to be one of the tournament venues just to prove a thing. But I don’t think cancelling the whole thing is resonable, I mean we hardly have enough to start throwing anything away. And about S. Africa 2010, we all agree they have a crime problem, maybe a bit more than previous hosts, but if we believed enough in them to hand them the tournament, and we’re all excited about their progree so far, why can’t we as well believe that S. Africa will do everything in their power to ensure that nothing jeopardizes the prestige conferred on them?

  30. 31 gary
    January 11, 2010 at 19:21

    African pessimism nor African optimism; but maybe just African realism?

  31. 32 sophia from washington
    January 11, 2010 at 19:49

    The only thing we need to fear is fear itself. Ask the team what they want to do. If they want to finish the tournament then so be it.

  32. 33 wajenda
    January 11, 2010 at 19:52

    What happened in Cabinda is very unfortunate and should not be condoned and the Angolan government should really look at how to improve the security for the teams that came for the Africa cup. But this should not in any be related to South Africa who will host the World Cup. It is very ignorant for the people in the west to start attributing what happened in Angola to the world cup. Do you guys remember what happened in 1996 Atlanta Olympics? This in not at all new to the world of sport, it happened in Atlanta and it happened in Angola so why do you want to fuss about it. And Angola is a sovereign country and people should not paint that picture. IT IS IGNORANT TO KEEP SAYING AFRICA INSTEAD OF ANGOLA.

  33. 34 TomK in Mpls
    January 11, 2010 at 20:45

    Think on this people, it is up to those involved to make their own choices. They have the right to find what response suits their needs and moral standards. The only difference between them and you at this very moment is the attention of the press. I stand firmly against those that want to force others to live by standards that are not their own.

  34. January 12, 2010 at 09:13


  35. January 12, 2010 at 09:25

    This is already the measure does not forget, and I would also like to invite Togo to participate in the competition and forget the past

  36. 37 DevRaj Timalsina
    January 12, 2010 at 09:48

    I do not no what is happenig these days .Every where is terorrist attack in all parts of the world. The so called devloped countries should realise that even they are not safe when the whole world blasts. Wec clearly kow that where the people are poorer even they do not have any idea what they do for servive. Then that depression leads them to killed other or terrorise other.so im my opinion the best idea to end this type of attack(terrorism) from the world the developed country should play bigger role to make poor people can live their whole life without making any harm to other people.

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