Ivorian press review, 14 April 2010

Ivorian press

SuperSport’s main editorial by Hamidou Fomba criticises Ivorian Football Federation chief, Jacques Anouma for concentrating all his efforts on the main national team, to the detriment of other Ivorian squads and the national leagues. Upside: 2 qualifications for the World Cup finals (for the first time ever) and participation in the Olympics; and money from this built artificial pitches for the Parc des Sports and the Robert Champroux stadium. Downside: no second African Nations’ Cup trophy – in fact a worsening record (finals 2006, semi-finals 2008, quarter finals 2010).
He calls on Anouma to answer the fans’ question – ‘After the World Cup, what are going to do?’ What to do when Drogba, Kolo, Aruna and Zokora become too old? With the team so dependent on Asec players, and the Asec academy producing fewer world-class players, “Ivory Coast is heading down into hell”. But he ends by saying the Ivorian club presidents need to accept some of the blame also.

Transfer talk fills the mid-week sports pages; Didier Drogba takes the front page of SuperSport – AC Milan are apparently interested in the 32 year old striker, according to the ‘English press’ – the figure of 26 billion CFA is cited. Ivorian midfielder, Akale Kanga, currently playing at RC Lens is also being tempted to move; German clubs Shalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund are the interested parties according to the same paper.┬áStriker Sanogo Boubacar was in Germany at Werder Bremen until this season when he moved the other way, to French club St. Etienne. He’s currently being treated for muscle pains.

Finally, with the World Cup finals within spitting distance, and a change of coach, all the Ivorian players are seeking to make their mark and go the extra mile to make a name of themselves. Rumours that players even pay for high-profile coverage of their performances are not unheard of. As for the anticipated performance of the Elephants, Guus Hiddink is quoted speaking to the Dutch press and saying the team has lots of potential to put on a good display. He confirmed that he had had discussions with the Ivorian federation, and conversations with Drogba about the vacant coaching job, but that they couldn’t come to an agreement. In the Ivorian press, he was considered to have been asking for too much money, though perhaps he might have been better placed than Sven to turn Drogba’s undoubted talents into overall team results.

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