Divisions and lack of respect remain evident among African countries even as they come together to play football in the continent’s most prestigious trophy – the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
In the shadows of the AFCON 2022, which begins today, hosts in Cameroon are hurting. They feel their “African brothers” are treating them with disdain.
Morocco has refused to consume locally produced food. The Atlas Lions came with all their provisions, cooks, and hotel workers.
One Cameroonian remarked: “Who is going to pay the local hotel workers who have been asked to stay away for two months?”
Another asked how Cameroon was going to benefit if Africans were not willing to support local tourism?
Gabon led by superstar striker Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang – rumoured to be leaving Arsenal for Barcelona – rejected the hotel they were booked in.
The Gabonese have opted to move to another hotel of the standard they find acceptable.
Even as the Gabonese thumbed their noses at the hosts, murmurs of discontent were coming out of their camp.
Aubameyang tested positive for Covid-19, and other players are demanding their bonuses before they even kick a ball.
Apparently, Auba caught the virus while on an outing in Dubai en route to Cameroon. His Gabonese mate, Mario René Junior Lemina of French club Nice, whom he was with also tested positive for Covid-19.
The Gabonese players were promised $26 000 each and players are threatening not to play if they are not paid.
Gabon is in Group C. They are scheduled to play against Comoros on Monday.
Cameroonians are telling any visitors who will listen not to leave without tasting local cuisine.
For their part, tournament organisers the Confederation of African Football has written to the Gabon FA seeking an explanation of their behaviour.