• What’s the big deal?
By Ediale Kingsley
The World Cup is done and dusted, the best player has emerged in Luka Modric and the young best player, Kylian Mbappe as France relied on a black dominated team to oust Croatia. The media space has since been awash by the narratives that the glory belongs to the African continent. Despite her inability to produce any team in the knockout stage of the tournament.
But Our writer, Ediale Kingsley, National Daily Football journalist believes, ‘Whatever happens, they will talk. People like to talk. Argentina doesn’t have any black in their National Team. We talk ill of them. We talk of the history, how their ancestors ensured all blacks were killed to ensure it was a nation of all whites.
We now talk ill of the France team. For the opposite reason. For having blacks dominate the team. I imagine the Whites in France being ridiculed after the winning’.
The world is shaming them, “African Union got the World Cup for you”. But the French man only ensured it’s only the best players go to represent them. Irrespective of the skin color.
They trusted the best they have to deliver and put politics and sentiments aside. And so from defence to attack, Pogba to Umtiti, Kante to Matuidi, blacks dominated this team.
And here in Nigeria, we are more concerned about the Quota System. How many players are from the North, East, West or South.
Another question we should ask is would these lads have gotten to their various levels of success if they played in Africa? I, Ediale, doesn’t think so.
What league would nurture them? What facilities will they train? Rather than have a team of the best. We settle on single stars in the squad and build mediocre teams around them. Senegal has Mane. Egypt, Salah. Nigeria has Moses.
Mbappe in Cameroon, for instance would not be in the World Cup. We would have built bull fighters around him for politics and sentiments sake. How far did Samuel Eto go in National duties? You think Mbappe is better than Eto? No. Eto was just as fast and fantastic. But he was not playing with the best for his country.
It may not be fair to say this problem is an African thing. But Ediale thinks we are surely a leader in this kind of injustice.
Names, skin colors, sentiments, politics, and so on don’t win football trophies. Players in form do. That’s why a black Nzozi would be picked over a white Rabiot. In Nigeria we would have thrown in Adrien Rabiot in that team. Afterall he plays for PSG and Nzozi plays for Sevilla. Afterall we would need to ensure a balance in the quota system.
Another silly thing Ediale has noticed. Is our quickness to claim sentimental achievement by association. We think we can find succor in the fact that France won the world cup with blacks. Shame.
The money they won (N 14b) has gone into their economy not yours. And it could have been your nation. The glory is tied to France and not yours. As they say in broken-english — e for be you.
A CNN report by Peniel Joseph with the headline France’s World Cup win is a victory for immigrants everywhere.
The reports highlight the thoughts that France’s electrifying 4-2 World Cup win over Croatia represents a victory for Africa and immigrants everywhere, “The team’s success is particularly noteworthy because of the way in which anti-immigrant sentiment, especially against migrants with African roots, has roiled French society over the past two decades. In 2005, racial and urban unrest gripped suburban housing projects outside of Paris in the wake of the death of two teenagers who were electrocuted in a substation after being chased by police” it reports.
Zinedine Zidane, recently said of his country’s 1998 win that, “it was not about religion, the color of your skin, we didn’t care about that, we were just together and enjoyed the moment”.
In the press piece headlined France’s World Cup success masks underlying racial and class tensions at home, Joseph Downing of QZ media wrote also on the subject, ‘In the years since, there have been other accusations that France operated a “quota” to limit the number of black and Arab players in the national team. In part, this was justified as a means to limit the number of bi-national players trained by the French youth team, who may choose to play for a country other than France. However, transcripts which formed part of an investigation found the rationale also extended to racial stereotypes that white players were more “cerebral” and “team orientated” than their “fast and strong” African and Arab counterparts’
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