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Sports News | May 18, 2004

Africa 'disses' South Africa

Dr Kofi Ellisson

In the run up to the FIFA vote to select the African country to host the 2010 World Football Cup, the president of Senegal made no bones about his support Morocco. In fact, the Senegalese president traveled to Switzerland to lend support to the Moroccan bid.

But I am stunned that none of the four members of CAF, the African Footbal Confederation who have the FIFA vote, voted for eventual winner South Africa.

According to FIFA, all four Africans voted for Morocco!!!

This included South African-born Ismail Bhamjee, who now hails from neighbouring Botswana.

The three other African members of the Fifa executive committee are Caf boss Issa Hayatou from Cameroon, Mamadou Diakite of Mali and the Tunisian Slim Aloulou.

South Africa's 14 votes were drawn from South America, Oceania and CONCACAF - the grouping of central, north American and Caribbean countries.

They also received half of the votes from Europe's eight members and two from Asia.

Why would Africans NOT vote for a most authentic African country, in spite of the country having unquestionably the best facilities on the continent to host such a huge event?

I surmise the reason as being either ENVY; STUPIDITY; or both.

The presence of a developed South Africa is a shame to black Africans. Unlike the black Africans who assumed power following independence, and who summarily led their countries into economic and political woes; the white tribes of South Africa, steered their countries to economic independence and a first world status.

Unlike the black African leaders who stashed their country's resources in Europe, the white tribes of South Africa used their country's resources to develop South Africa. The result is evident and palpable: South Africa has the best road infrastructure; the best schools; the best hospitals; the best everything.

No wonder that black Africans now deem South Africa a HEAVEN; where the corrupted African elite spend their vacation; invest their stolen stash; seek educational opportunities for their children; and also seek medical care!!!

Granted South Africa was developed at a time when much of the population was disfranchised and treated as second class citizens, and in some cases non-citizens (remember the Bantustan policy of the Apartheid era)? But similar discrimination was going on in black Africa.

Can it really be said that Africans enjoyed free elections until a decade or so ago? Would Mandela be alive today if he were detained by a black African ruler in say, Ghana; Nigeria; or Zambia?

We Africans must not be envious of South Africa, just because their success epitomizes the decay; corruption; and under-development that our own black leaders unleashed upon us.

It is a disgrace that black Africans voted for Arab Morocco. A country that most of them would be treated as second-class citizens, even today.

Thank God South Africa won!!! Amandla!!!!

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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