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Africa Cup of Nations: Match ‘disrespected’, says former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright | Soccer Information

Former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright says media protection of Europe-based gamers travelling to the Africa Cup of Nations is “disrespectful” and “tinged with racism”.

The 24-team competitors begins on January 9 and can function a bunch of main Premier League gamers, with Sky Sports activities exhibiting all 52 video games reside.

Wright mentioned protection of the event and the difficulty of participant launch through the European season, is in marked distinction to how Euro 2020 was handled.

“Is there ever a event extra disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?” Wright mentioned in a video posted on Instagram.

“There isn’t a higher honour than representing your nation. The protection is totally tinged with racism.

“We performed our Euros throughout 10 international locations in the course of a pandemic and there isn’t any challenge in any respect. However Cameroon, a single nation internet hosting a event, is an issue.”

Footballers heading to the Africa Cup of Nations finals can be allowed to play for his or her golf equipment till January 3.

Wright added that he objected to gamers being requested whether or not or not they intend to play for his or her international locations.

“You’re getting journalists asking gamers … gamers getting requested if they are going to be honouring the call-ups to their nationwide groups. Think about if that was an English participant representing the Three Lions. Are you able to think about the furore?”

Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool can be with out Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Guinea’s Naby Keita.

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal
Mohamed Salah will function for Egypt in Cameroon

Crystal Palace can be lacking Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate, however their supervisor Patrick Vieira mentioned there was no query of making an attempt to influence them to skip the finals.

“I respect and perceive the fervour and the significance to gamers to go and characterize their nation so I’ll by no means cease any participant going to play the Africa Cup of Nations,” Vieira mentioned, whereas calling for media to cowl the occasion extra severely.

Wright mentioned the gamers and international locations deserved extra respect.

“A great deal of the most effective gamers in Europe proper now are African,” famous the 58-year-old, who made 33 appearances for England.

“If we love them at membership degree why cannot we love them at worldwide degree like their counterparts throughout the globe? Why is that this event always getting a lot flak?”

Match format

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez helped Algeria win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 (AP)
Manchester Metropolis winger Riyad Mahrez helped Algeria win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019

AFCON kicks off on January 9 and the group phases end on January 20.

The spherical of 16 takes place from January 23 to January 26, whereas the quarter-finals are on January 29 and 30.

It’s a busy schedule with the semi-finals on February 2 and three, and the conclusion of the event on February 6 with the ultimate and the third-place play-off.

Key dates

  • January 9 – AFCON group stage begins
  • January 20 – AFCON group stage ends
  • January 23 to 26 – AFCON final 16
  • January 29 and 30 – AFCON quarter-finals
  • February 2 and three – AFCON semi-finals
  • February 6 – AFCON last and third-place play-off



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