After Abdoulaye Doucouré, who will give up CAN 2024 in Ivory Coast? , Young Africa

After Abdoulaye Doucouré, who will give up CAN 2024 in Ivory Coast?

Published on November 14, 2023

Reading: 2 minutes.

Is there an ideal calendar for an African Cup of Nations (CAN), a competition rarely favored within the football world? After disastrous floods in Ivory Coast in 2022, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had given up la scheduling of CAN 2023 in the middle of the rainy season, from June 23 to July 23. Shifted to the beginning of 2024, precisely from January 13 to February 11, in Abidjan, Bouaké, Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro, the event is now grind teeth on the side of the European championships.

After Doucouré, Onana?

Competition competition is not new. During the Cameroonian edition of the CAN played in January-February 2022, the press highlighted that only 29,7% of the players concerned played in Africa. A contrario, 404 footballers called up by their African teams played in championships linked to UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations. However, in Europe, “football players” are more likely to be released during the sacrosanct summer break than in the middle of winter.

In anticipation de the Ivorian continental competition, the debate has just been relaunched, the midfielder of Everton FC, Abdoulaye Doucouré, having just given up participating. The Malian responded, on November 5, to journalists from the “90 Football” application.

Difficult de unravel the traditional tangle of team pressures and self-censorship. Beyond the unavailability of an African player during part of the CAN, clubs which “acquire” footballers at great expense fear that the absent player will return exhausted, or even injured. Even à Half a word, in the mysteries of the locker room and in particular in a critical period for the club, the debate is so recurrent that some players put off their patriotic desires, in anticipation of possible bullying.

These can range from temporary sulkiness to retention on the bench – “whoever goes hunting loses his place” – to pettiness during the winter transfer window – “be careful, this candidate could disappear to Africa in the middle of the championship”. In 2022, the president de Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis, had he not said: “Don’t talk to me anymore about African footballers. I won't take any more, as long as the CAN is organized in the middle of the season”?

The announced defection of Doucouré has already wake up the “boycott” bookmakers. This is how the American media dedicated to sport ESPN (Entertainment Sport Programming Network) whispers that Manchester United goalkeeper, Cameroonian André Onana, would hesitate to go to Cote Ivory.

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