TOP
Wednesday,October 28,2020 09:29 AM

Why European football, not African?

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st February 2006 03:00 AM

WHILE watching the African Cup of Nations match between Ivory Coast and Egypt on TV last Saturday, I was shocked when the management of the pub suddenly switched to an English FA game between Arsenal and Bolton.

WHILE watching the African Cup of Nations match between Ivory Coast and Egypt on TV last Saturday, I was shocked when the management of the pub suddenly switched to an English FA game between Arsenal and Bolton.

Francis Obita

WHILE watching the African Cup of Nations match between Ivory Coast and Egypt on TV last Saturday, I was shocked when the management of the pub suddenly switched to an English FA game between Arsenal and Bolton.

When we complained the management said most of the revellers were asking for English games. We were shocked and the best we could do was walk away in protest. We gave up on the match and decided to take a ride along Kampala Road to check what people were watching and to our bigger surprise most bars were screening the FA match.

The question that bothered us was whether English games are more important than Africa’s most prestigious competition. I think the Nations Cup should come first for every football-loving African.

Equally disturbing is that in Uganda the National Football League Committee must follow the Premier League calendar while making fixtures for our local matches and ensure that matches here don’t coincide with big ties in England, otherwise the fans won’t go to the stadium. Even after endeavouring to coordinate the fixtures fans still don’t turn up in large numbers for our local games. It is very difficult to find a Ugandan soccer jersey on the market compared to Arsenal or Manchester United T-shirts that have flooded the local market. Very few Ugandans know the names of the players in the national football team, the Cranes. But many know all players in English teams, including those in reserve.

Why do Ugandans care so much about European football especially the Premier League? Of what help is it to the nation? I would say the best the current “foreign football craze” has done to Uganda is pull fans from the stadiums, brainwash them that what we have here is below standard and throw our tournaments into crisis.

The Ugandan press, instead of promoting our local competitions, devote very little space to them, unlike their European counterparts who concentrate on the sports events there. Our journalists give only a fraction of a newspaper page to local sports events and eight pages to European events. Where has patriotism gone? Even the companies that used to support the local sports events have followed the fleeing fans.

We need to learn from the South Africans where local teams like Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs always come first. Charity begins at home.

The writer is a local soccer fan

Why European football, not African?

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author