Wright – AFCON Coverage Tinged With Racism

Author: David Kappel
 | Date: January 1, 2022

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has hit out at the media backlash the Africa Cup of Nations has received, labelling it as racism.

Wright, who now works as pundit, has taken to Instagram over the criticism of AFCON, mainly in European media.

The tournament is set to start on 9 January, leading to many African stars based in Europe having to interrupt their domestic campaigns, but Wright insists the tournament deserves more respect.

“Is there ever a tournament more disrespected, more disrespected than the African Cup of Nations,” he said on Instagram. 

“There is no greater honour as a sportsperson than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism, completely tinged.

“We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there was no issue.

“But Cameroon, a single country, hosting the tournament is a problem?

“You are getting players asked by journalists if they will be honouring the call-ups for their national teams.

“Imagine it was an English player representing the Three Lions? Have you ever heard an English player being asked if he’s honouring the call-up. Could you imagine the furore?

Wright also praised Ajax Amsterdam striker Sebastien Haller and Crystal Palace coach Patrick Vieira, who both spoke out against the criticism of AFCON.

“Loads of the best players in Europe right now are African. If we love them at club level why can’t we love them at international level like their counterparts from across the globe? Why is this tournament constantly getting so much flak?

“I have got to give a shout out to the countries that have qualified and players like Sebastien Haller who are taking a stand against the media backlash, plus Patrick Vieira for coming out and speaking about this. 

“This is why it is important to have a Black manager who can let people understand where his roots are and how important this tournament is for African people.

“This shame has gone on for too long. I just want to wish Cameroon all the success of hosting this tournament.”

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