Maybe Africa just doesn’t like us

Fans during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville  in Gabon on 05 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Fans during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 05 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Not surprising, given our own xenophobia and arrogance. And that is far more worrying than the loss of a football tournament.

There is merit in the suggestion by the SA Football Association (Safa) that there were some dodgy aspects to the process to choose the host of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament. Egypt got the nod as host over South Africa, which was the only other bidder.

It is, at the very least, odd that Caf carried out no technical inspection or visit to South Africa. It is also strange that the announcement date was moved, at short notice, from January 9 to January 8.

It is also obvious, even without being excessively patriotic, that this country has a better offering than the Egyptians. We have better infrastructure, better climate and experience – after all, we hosted the Fifa World Cup successfully in 2010.

However, given that we got only one vote out of 17 in the selection process for Afcon, it is time for some introspection.

Perhaps we need to realise we are not as highly esteemed in football circles in Africa as we think we are.

This also indicates that, generally, our fellow Africans don’t particularly like us. Not surprising, given our own xenophobia and arrogance.

And that is far more worrying than the loss of a football tournament.

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