The Point (Banjul)

4 July 2014

Africa: Football World Cup - Africans' Early Exit and the Way Forward

Football lovers in Africa are generally disappointed about the early exit of Africa's five representatives in the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. But the signs were already there for such a development.

And squabbles over finances and administrative arrangements are a large contributing factor.

However, since FIFA allocated 1.5 million dollars to each of the 32 participating teams, the payment of bonuses to African players should not be a problem, if based on prior agreement, which should be available between the national football federations and players.

Take Cameroun which has represented the continent six times. Their participation in this year's World Cup was out of pure luck, as they were eliminated by Cape Verde, which then lost the points because of fielding a suspended player. Cameroun with a better goal average thus qualified to go to Brazil.

Then we heard from the Cameroun players that every player must be paid 4.4 million dalasis, before they leave for the World Cup.

Ghana has participated in the World Cup for the third time, in 2014.The Ghanaian players were in Brazil, when they asked for their bonuses to be paid to them there. Their government was obliged to charter a plane to deliver to them 3 million dollars, after they said the payment should not be a bank transaction, as they do not have bank accounts in Ghana.

Nigeria is for the fifth time participating in the World Cup. When the players qualified for the round of 16 against France, they refused to train for a day, and said they should be paid a good amount of money before they play, to which President Jonathan agreed.

Ivory Coast participated in the World Cup for the third time, in 2014. They too had an early exit, and financial and administrative problems were said to be a contributing factor.

Algeria in 2014 participated in the World Cup for the fourth time. They were not heard raising the issue of players' bonuses before they played.

According to observers, problems of finance were a big contributory factor in the early exit of African teams, from the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The four countries, Cameroun, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, it is suggested, should hold national conferences to address the financial and administrative problems in their football, which, no doubt, does have an impact on performance in the World Cup.

For the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA should make sure football federations and players agree in good time on how to use the funds it provides to them, before the tournament kicks off.

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