Former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright says that media protection of Europe-based gamers travelling to the Africa Cup of Nations is “disrespectful” and “tinged with racism”.
Wright, now a pundit for the BBC, mentioned that protection of the match and the problem of participant launch throughout the European season, is in marked distinction to how Euro 2020 was handled.
“Is there ever a match extra disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations?” Wright mentioned in a video posted on social media. “There is no such thing as a higher honour than representing your nation. The protection is totally tinged with racism.
“We performed our Euros throughout 10 international locations in the course of a pandemic and there’s no concern in any respect. However Cameroon, a single nation internet hosting a match, is an issue,” he mentioned.
Wright added that he objected to gamers being requested whether or not they intend to play for his or her international locations.
“You might be getting journalists asking gamers … gamers getting requested if they are going to be honouring the call-ups to their nationwide groups. Think about if that was an English participant representing the Three Lions. Are you able to think about the furore?”
A number of of the highest gamers within the Premier League are set to overlook membership video games in January to participate within the match. Second-placed Liverpool will probably be with out Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Guinea’s Naby Keita.
Crystal Palace will probably be lacking Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate however their supervisor Patrick Vieira mentioned there was no query of attempting to steer them to skip the finals.
“I respect and perceive the fervour and the significance to gamers to go and signify their nation so I’ll by no means cease any participant going to play the Africa Cup of Nations,” Vieira mentioned, whereas calling for media to cowl the occasion extra critically.
Wright mentioned the gamers and international locations deserved extra respect.
“A great deal of the perfect gamers in Europe proper now are African,” famous the 58-year-old, who made 33 appearances for England.
“If we love them at membership stage why can’t we love them at worldwide stage like their counterparts throughout the globe? Why is that this match continually getting a lot flak?”