Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, has said that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is being “disrespected by poor media coverage.
Wright stated this via his official Instagram handle, where he noted that the coverage of the bi-annual tournament is completely tinged with racism.
Recently, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira called for the tournament to be given more respect while Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp in November used disparaging remarks against the tournament but later said he was misquoted and that English language was not his first tongue.
The 24-team biennial competition begins on 9 January and will feature a host of Premier League and European stars.
However, the former Emgland international wished Cameroon a successful hosting of the AFCON tournament despite call for the cancellation of the game due to Covid-19 and Omicron Variant.
“Is there ever a tournament more disrespected than the Africa Cup of Nations? There is no greater honour than representing your country. The coverage is completely tinged with racism. We played our Euros across 10 countries in the middle of a pandemic and there’s no issue at all. But Cameroon, a single country hosting a tournament, is a problem.
“There are players getting asked if they will be honouring the call-ups to their national teams. Imagine if that was an England player representing the Three Lions. Can you imagine the furore? Loads of the best players in Europe right now are African.
“If we love them at club level why can’t we love them at international level like their counterparts across the globe? Why is this tournament constantly getting so much flak? I have got to give a shout out to the players like Sebastien Haller who are taking a stand against the media backlash, plus Patrick Vieira for coming out and speaking about this.
“This is why it is important to have a black manager who can let people understand where his roots are and how important this tournament is for African people. I want to wish Cameroon every success in hosting this tournament and and all the very best to the players and the fans.”