AFCON is being ‘disrespected;’ says Ian Wright, former England striker

Ian Wright, former England striker has expressed his displeasure in the way the African cup of Nations (AFCON) is being treated. The former player took to his Instagram page to lash out at both critics and the media for ‘negative’ coverage and racism.

In the viral Instagram post, Wright asked: “Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?” He also criticized the media for its racist coverage of the forthcoming tournament.

“There is no greater honour than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism,” he said whilst. He further argued that, the European Championship was held without any of this negative perception the AFCON is being treated with.

“We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem?” Wright said in a video posted to his numerous followers.

He also expressed a disappointment in the kind of questions people ask African players regarding the tournament. “There are players getting asked if they will be honouring the call-ups to their national teams. Imagine if that was an England player representing the Three Lions. Can you imagine the furore?” he questioned.

Wright is not the first to express his views on the ongoing discrimination. Patrick Vieira, head coach of English Premier league side Crystal Palace earlier said he “believe there should be more respect towards it. Maybe journalists [in Europe] should go to Africa and cover it and then they will understand what it means to the people of Africa.”

He added that, he “respect the passion of the African Cup of Nations and will never stop any player going.” Vieira said the AFCON deserves much respect just like the European championship. “I believe that competition has to be more respected because this competition is as important as the European championship.” He said

The 24-team competition which was earlier postponed due to the pandemic will finally commence on the 9th of January 2022.

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