By Jacques Sotero Agboton*
The performances of the national teams from Africa were disappointing. There was nothing achieved because the teams’ objectives were mediocre. However, we all agree that the players showed greater athletic capacities than their adversaries with sometimes unequal dexterity. At this stage of an elite craftsmanship, we were certain many African players had the same professional level as their peers. What truly lacked among the African players was the psychological preparation. Of course, it needed to be part of the coaching team’s preoccupation or otherwise, the lead coach’s philosophy.
Unfortunately, all the African national teams were psychologically unprepared for this world cup. And like the previous ones, they came as figureheads if not minstrels with horrible managerial baggage which came to overshadow their performance. One can already Imagine the image of shame sent by the flag bearers of a nation protesting on a world stage because their stipends or bonuses were not paid.
Here then is an appeal to the consciousness of our sport authorities as well as the various actors in the same domain. There is more that is at stakes than attending or participating in a world cup. Perhaps, it may be only the Africans who have not realized that winning is everything, and if not, the most crucial element of any sport, hence, football.
Thus, like all areas of human activities, namely, economics, politics, religion, labor, law, education, sex, military war and ENTERTAINEMENT, of which sports or a sport like football, plays an important role; Africans must become aware wherever or whenever, they compete for position, they are engaged in a war. There is no need to remind Africans that they are a conquered people; dominated in almost every area of human activity that it behooves them to consider any challenge worth winning.
There is nothing innocuous about sports at the professional stage much less at the most elitist level such as a world cup. A world-game is another world war because there are numerous national and international interests with stakes in one form or another which depend on forecasted outcomes, executed in details planning from the onset to the final results.
Black Africa has been clueless because dragged in the euphoria purposely created to distract it from viewing and analyzing its position in the grand scheme of things. That is, Africans enter unconsciously into the grand scheme of world events.
Whereas in actuality, every competition, whether local, national or international has its own dynamics for the creation of industries for a myriad of products and the provision of services which feed groups of financiers, producers and a gigantic labor force, Africans still serve as the raw material source and still again, the market of slave gladiators.
We know that the games generate not only millions in a local currency, but many more in multiple currencies of other countries for licit transactions just as more in illicit operations that this element alone is important to understand whenever there are international games.
For as much as each game generates the sources of income for several million people, the crucial question then to raise now that the subservient position of Africans is quite clear remains, “in whose interest should an actor defend the national flag or better yet, the national stake? This question presented otherwise will bring Africans to comprehend their first mistake.
“Does a foreign coach from Europe, North or South America have at stake the winning of any African national team over his country?” The answer is “NO!”. Then again, if that should happen once or accidentally, it may not continue over time simply because unlike Africans who seek glory or who pride themselves in the role as mercenaries , other foreigners will bid the highest earning in total obscurity for what they consider treasonous acts.
The second mistake we attribute to the cruel naivety or psychological bankruptcy is in the predicament of African players exercising their professional craft in foreign leagues and who with such communion with their counterparts cannot exhibit the needed combativeness when faced with their colleagues while strangers have no problems in dealing with others.
There was an insightful window of this image captured by the camera during the match between Ghana and the USA. Essien from Ghana greeted the coach from the USA as he entered the game. This is an unacceptable behavior and the outcome of the match was evidently against the Ghanaians when Ghanaians were tactfully dominating but less aggressive to win.
This is perhaps a reason African nations should consider severing ties with players who exercise their craft abroad such that local products of nationally coached players will develop the warring attitudes that crystallize squads of hungry go-getters in a team which wishes to win at all cost.
Any national team that progresses internally and reaches the same professional level as developed nations with its own winning strategies cannot be hampered in achieving the best result The only result worthy of praises is that of a champion.
Finally. The term “war-games” is not harmless and was certainly not invented accidentally. While to the African spectators, this term designates an exercise, in fact, it demonstrates the permanent state of mind of European aggressions from passive/defensive practices to offensive actions. Africans in general, players and coaching staff in particular, must begin to consider the hidden and also the symbolic in term such as “games of war” because that is part of the warmonger mindset. In the European psyche, every part of human activity is a declared war zone.
There is too much at stake for unconsciousness and unacceptable behaviors which include negligence as well as dereliction of duty when winning is the final expected outcome.
Once Africans understand this dimension or perspective on every undertaking, in whatever area of human activity, they will inject a greater input of aggressiveness. They must recognize the need to win over an adversary by all means. Only the prize of a champion is the larges. And should Africans consider this aspect of every game, then they will promote consequently economic fallouts befitting their efforts.
*Jacques Sotero Agboton is an international political analyst and can be reached through facebook.com