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African Cup of Nations: ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
DEC 2007

 

  Despite the fact that Africans make up some of the best player on the world stage in Europe and across the world, American soccer and sports stations, such as ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel, still refuse to give the African Nations Cup the respect it deserves.  We watch European league games, they show European qualifying games of different age levels, we see some South American soccer, we have seen games played in Asia, the Women’s World Cup is regular, but never the African Nation Cup – African World Cup.

 

Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon is Barcelona’s (Spain) main striker and was their highest goal scorer within the past two years.  So was Didre Drogba of Ivory Coast for Chelsea (England).  The French league has Sylva one of the best goalies from Senegal, and Taiwo, the over-lapping defender from Nigeria.  In fact, the best teams in England and Spain are made up of Africans even though some have foreign citizenship.  Chelsea of England has Drogba, Kalou, Essien, Mikel, while Barcelona of Spain has Eto’o, Abidal, Toure just to mention a few.  

We watch African players every weekend in their European teams but have never had the joy in the USA to watch them in the African Nations Cup, despite numerous unanswered e-mails.   Many have to drive across city and state line just to watch a game on some satellite.  ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel should not give the excuse of low ratings because soccer audience do not discriminate when it come to soccer.  It is true that African has never hosted nor won the World Cup, but Nigeria has beaten Spain (1998), Senegal had beaten France (2002), and Cameroon has beaten Argentina (1990).  There is no excuse not to show the African Nations Cup.  We have the players and have the teams.  We have reached the quarter finals twice in the past five World Cups since the beginning of proper representation for Africa.  So what is the problem?  ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel have got no excuse or choice, but to live up to their expectation.  We know that American media is not interested in African music and culture, but must that extend to the beautiful game of global soccer?

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