Why Europe when the game belong to Africa


Too soon the Christmas break is over and a
new year is upon us. 2015 is only a few days
old, and nobody knows what surprises it has
in store for us
Too soon the Christmas break is over and a
new year is upon us. 2015 is only a few days
old, and nobody knows what surprises it has
in store for us.
But in the world of soccer, all eyes will be
glued to Equatorial Guinea for the 30th edition
of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)
from 17 January to 8 February.
Some countries have already named their
squad. Ghana has, however, only named a
provisional 26-man squad to camp in Spain
ahead of the competition.
The question that beats my understanding is:
Why are we camping in Europe when the
competition is in Africa (Equatorial Guinea)?
Why can we not camp in Ghana or any African
country for that matter with the same
conditions like Equatorial Guinea instead of
wasting taxpayers’ money camping in Spain?
Camping in Europe is obviously not to
acclimatize. Why would anybody acclimatize
to the wintery weather in Europe only to come
and play in the humid African weather?
In another light, let me remind you that most
of the players named by Avram Grant are
Europe-based. They are already used to the
European conditions. Instead of camping in
Africa to get used to the climate, we chose to
camp them in their comfort zones. Will that
have an effect on them when they have to play
under the conditions in Equatorial Guinea?
So if the players are not camping in Europe to
acclimatize, why then waste money sending
them there in the first place? According to
Bernard Nyankomago, a sports analyst and
writer, arguments to camp the players abroad,
especially in Europe, have always been to give
them a peaceful environment devoid of
distractions from friends, family and the
He believes it has been a long tradition for
teams to camp in Europe before major
competitions. “Coaches select places they
want to camp ahead of major competitions
and failure to heed to them will result in the
defense that you didn’t give those better
preparatory conditions when they demanded it
in the event they fail to meet their target,” he
Bernard also added that the availability of
advance training facilities in Europe is a major
contributor when teams choose to camp
But should this continue? Is this not a mere
financial loss to the State and a waste of
taxpayers’ money since the competition is
taking place right here in Africa?
As much as I agree the players need no
distractions, camping them in Europe is not
the only solution. Measures could be put in
place such that although they will camp right
here in Ghana, their training sessions would
neither be made public to the fans nor the
An argument made to camp the team in Spain
is that they will find other teams to train with
there. Well, we have lots of premiere league
clubs in Ghana they can train with, don’t we?
The premiere league teams have been yearning
to play matches after the league was
suspended pending a court case.
What better opponents to train with the Black
Stars than the local premiere league clubs
who play the rough and rugged kind of game
to be experienced during the AFCON?
Is the AFCON not an African competition?
Playing friendly matches with European clubs
will not provide the best exercise like playing
with fellow Africans.
My final concern has to do with the quality of
pitch these players will be training on in Spain
during the camping and the pitch they will be
playing the competition proper on.
Spain definitely will provide better pitches than
what the players will be playing on in
Equatorial Guinea. Will that help them when
they have to play on the “not so good” pitches
here in Africa? Shouldn’t they get used to
these turf conditions before the competition
We’re certain to hear excuses, such as the
pitch was not good, when the team fails,
forgetting there is every opportunity to train
and play on similar pitches right here in Africa
but they refuse to seize those opportunities.
There have been calls to reduce the excessive
spending on the Blacm stars


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