The former president of Olympique de Marseille attacked CAF president Ahmad Ahmad after Cameroon lost its role as CAN, alleging politics as the reason.
Rabat – Senegalese national Pape Diouf did not hold back in voicing his displeasure at the CAF, particularly towards the Moroccan president. He accused CAF president Ahmad of being “a puppet of Moroccans,” after the federation agreed to move the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations from Cameroon to a new country. Although the new country has not been determined yet, Diouf has already displayed his displeasure at the decision.
The CAF stated that Cameroon lost its spot to host the cup because the country was not prepared. This conclusion came after inspectors visiting Cameroon discovered a lot of the venues planned to host the game weren’t constructed yet. In addition, the Cameroonian government has had security issues in the country that it has failed to control.
The country’s military has battled the militant group Boko Haram for the past four years and has struggled to control the northern portion of the country where the terrorist group conducts its operations, according to the International Crisis Group.
In addition, the country has also had a resurgence of violence between the country’s English speaking population and the majority Francophone population. An incident earlier this year led to 17 deaths, according to News24.
Despite the issues facing Cameroon, many Africans share Diouf’s suspicions that the real reason is political. It is no secret Morocco has aspirations to host CAN 2019. In addition to the Moroccan national team’s head coach expressing his desire for Morocco to host, the Saudis have shown their support of Morocco’s bid as well, and Saudi Arabian Football Federation President Al Sheikh said Saudis were “ready to support [Morocco’s bid], and meet all its needs.”
Egypt, one of the other Arab countries participating in the CAN, also seemed to support Morocco as the new host. A spokesman for Egypt’s football league announced Egypt “will not compete with another Arab country,” according to French football site Goal. This leaves the door wide open for Morocco to successfully win the bid with little competition, and will possibly strengthen Morocco’s tripartite bid with Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup as well.