Deep thoughts by Max Bretos on the ACN

On FSC Super Sunday, Max Bretos came all fired up taking the CAF to task for organizing the ACN at a bloody inconvenient time with all the important European league matches during this period. The solution should be to push the two yearly tournament to the summer. European leagues with many African players in their clubs have also asked for a change. Fair enough.
The CAF’s contention is that the unbearably hot African summer will be hard to take by the players.
Bretos dismisses it as a reason. The heat might be a factor since he has never experienced an African summer. But here is where Bretos goes for the anal probe. The CAF’s reasoning is suspect. He bases his observation on the exorbitant broadcasting fees that the CAF is charging for the ACN matches due to which some African countries have refused to air them. It is riddled with nepotism and inefficiency. There are problems with ticketing and transportation. It is time to listen to the European grown ups. The CAF should swallow their pride and move the ACN up.
Look, Max, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The CAF is making a good point when it says that the weather is unbearably hot. They live in Africa and they should know better. The first ACN was held in 1963 much before the EPL was organized and before the present exodus of African players took place to the European leagues. So it is not pride that keeps them from changing but a genuine problem. Much of Northern and Equatorial Africa bakes in the sun at 115 to 120F in the summer. As this article shows, players found it hard to play in the heat with temperatures reaching the mid 90s at the 1996 ACN organized in SA, a relatively cooler country.
Here is a thought for you, Max. These players play despite the ACN not being shown in 200 countries because the tournament is a showcase for nascent African talent and there is enormous pride in winning the cup, as badly organized as it maybe. The CAF is doing its bit by ensuring the players show up to play in good health. Because in the African summer, dehydration and cramps take their toll. A sunstroke in 115F heat becomes a possibility.
Of course, when that happens, then Bretos will be blaming the CAF for being bone headed AND inefficient and corrupt. The more realistic club managers already have contingency plans to deal with the cyclical loss of African players which makes much more sense to me.

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3 comments on “Deep thoughts by Max Bretos on the ACN
  1. I agree with you. Sure it’s nice to not have to lose players for a month, but clubs know this when they buy the players. If you don’t want to lose your players, don’t get Africans.
    United only have one African (not official yet) and Arsenal should cope because they knew to expect it. It’s teams like Chelsea and Pompey that scream about it because they have so many and act like they didn’t know it was coming. They use it as an excuse for poor form. However, Arsenal can consider themselves lucky that Adebayor isn’t in the ACN.

  2. Andrew
    I think Arsenal dodged a bullet when Togo did not qualify for the ACN. He has been in great form.
    I think it is ridiculous when FIFA and the media circus single out the CAF as being intransigent. Yet they are the ones who impose restrictions on who can play and where. Bolivia and other Andean nations now have an altitude restriction.

  3. Right on. Also, maybe the FA and others wouldn’t have its teams in a frenzy if they ever caught on and realized a winter break would be good for everyone. They have them in Spain, Italy and Germany, and if England adopted one, perhaps they could work with the CAF so the ACN would overlap with the break. This would make it so the teams wouldn’t have to play as many matches without their players, and the ACN wouldn’t have to take place in unbearable heat.
    It will be interesting to see what the temperatures in the 2010 World Cup will be like and how they affect the Europeans in particular. I remember in ’94 watching the Irish national team struggle to finish a game in the Orlando heat. Hell, they even had trouble with the heat in Giants Stadium. I don’t remember how it was for other European teams, but I imagine it wasn’t much easier. You’d have to think this would put Brazil and Argentina in a great position.

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