Ivorian press review, 13 April 2010

Ivorian press

The Elephants CHAN victory over Togo on Sunday received a lot of coverage; a positive story in an otherwise dismal year (elimination from the Nations’ Cup, elimination from the African Champions’ League). The 4-0 victory was especially welcome after the team’s performance in last year’s inaugural CHAN finals, held here in Ivory Coast. Sports daily ‘Fanion’ portrayed them as heros. The 6-1 aggregate victory mean the team have qualified for the CHAN 2011 finals in Sudan. In that competition the Elephants picked up one point in the group stage and didn’t score a single goal. “We don’t want to come last again”, was the quote from coach Kouadio Georges in ‘Le Temps’.

The English FA cup semi-final also attracted attention – ‘SuperSport’ and ‘Fanion’ led on their front pages with the up-coming cup final clash between Drogba and Kalou’s Chelsea against Dindane’s Portsmouth.

“Baky scores his 4th goal and injured” regrets ‘SuperSport’ signalling the latest injury problems for Marseille’s Baky Kone.

Today’s press also returned to the salary of new coach Sven Goran Eriksson. A front page headline read “200 million salary for Eriksson, a credit card without limit”; the press fear the costs of his flat in London and the company credit card will create a huge financial burden for the club.

Finally, the AGM of League 1 title holders, Asec Mimosas, received a lot of coverage. The weekly newspaper Stade d’Afrique said the club president, Roger Ouegnin was “exploded” as he reported on the club’s early exit from the Champion’s League. The papers report the club lost 300 million CFA (£400,000) in 2009. Ouegnin gave information about a new role he’ll have in the Ivorian Football Federation in a renewed national technical department. He also rallied against the national team players “nothing but stars”.

One Asec share holder at the club was quoted anonymously in ‘Nord-Sud’ as complaining, “How can we leave the goalkeeper who was awarded the title of best League 1 goalkeeper 2009 (Daniel Yeboah) to play Vincent Angban? All that is just being done for the sake of the national team!” Angban has been selected in the last year as the reserve goalkeeper for the Elephants (the only player from the local league in the squad). But many supporters aren’t happy with his performance, and a terrible mistake when he fumbled a ball into his own net just over a week ago left Asec knocked out of the Champions’ League in the first round. He wasn’t in the CHAN side, which is meant to feature the best of Ivorian-based talent, but that was because Asec only allowed the squad to pick three of their players, and the coach wanted attackers.

Finally, the appearance of Peter Adebayor in the Togo CHAN team on Sunday got a half-page article in ‘Nord-Sud’. Apparently he wants to play in Abidjan. At the stadium, the rumour was that this was the younger brother, but he turns out to be older (29). He was well received but some terrible touches after he came on in the 78th minute showed this was definitely the less talented brother.

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