11 February 2013

Africa: Who Said What At 2013 Cup of Nations

Soweto — The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations ended Sunday with Nigeria taking the title and AFP reviews who said what during the three-week competition:

"You don't want to know what was going through my mind in the last few minutes." - Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi after a tense finish to a 1-0 final win over Burkina Faso.

"You have to be big when you lose and small when you win." - Burkina Faso coach Paul Put reacting with dignity in defeat.

"It feels great ... this is my sixth Nations Cup, and my last. I was praying to God I could win it. I feel so blessed, so grateful to God" - emotional Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo on what it meant to be handed the trophy.

"There were a lot of doubters when I first arrived in Ouagadougou to take up my post. I believe many were hoping for a Jose Mourinho-type coach, not Paul Put." - Put on initial reactions to his appointment.

"Everyone realised that this referee did not officiate well." - CAF president Issa Hayatou on Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi's bad day at the office in the Burkina Faso-Ghana semi-final.

"The fact that Burkina made the final is a positive sign for the development of football in Africa." - Hayatou again on the improbable Burkinabe journey in South Africa.

"I want to kiss him!" - Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi after unheralded Sunday Mba scored the winner to put them into the semi-finals at the expense of Ivory Coast.

"It is over." - Didier Drogba's terse evaluation of his Africa Cup of Nations career which ended in frustration when Ivory Coast failed to justify their favourite's tag for the fifth consecutive tournament.

"The coach was not a help! Me, I was on the pitch, so I couldn't do both jobs [coaching and playing]" -Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor's bleak appraisal of coach Didier Six's contribution to the quarter-finalists' campaign.

"My boys lost with dignity, pride and passion." South Africa coach Gordon Igesund after the hosts' last-eight defeat to Mali.

"I get goosebumps when speaking of Mali. There is nothing that compares with the joy of giving to a country that is suffering." - Mali captain Seydou Keita's emotional take on how his semi-finalists have helped lift the mood back home where Malian, African and French troops are confronting Islamist extremists

"The worst pitch in South Africa." - Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama's scathing critique of the Nelspruit ground.

"The pitch wasn't awful, it was the colour of the grass which wasn't good." - CAF president Issa Hayatou defends the much-maligned Mbombela Stadium surface.

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