WARMING:I am not pulling any punches here. If you have issues with race or lingo stop reading this. We live in very hypocritical times of our lives with unrealistic disorders to pacify each other, stroking our egos to justify the shortcomings caused by the evils we indulge in. There are words regarded too strong, rights enjoyed by the sinful, behaviour acceptable regardless of the opinions of others, norms cool only to the perpetrator, dress codes with minimum material or shifted waistlines and outrageous lifestyles that caused fire to rain in biblical times being promoted as rights. Parents can now be genderless.
The world’s top players are black, and not just because of the exploits of Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o or Michael Essien. There has been a good number of blacks in the past, from Pele to Eusebio. This is not to say there has not been outstanding white counterparts as you may as well know of Hungarian Puskas of the Pele era. A few of the other whites of those days were over-rated though.
Within living memory range, John Barnes, Stan Colymore, Les Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Paul Parker, George Weah, Roger Milla, Abedi Pele, Frank Rikjaard and Rudd Gullit were some of the best blacks in the business. They played during the era of Michel Platini, Diego Maradona, Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson, David Ginola and Peter Schmichael. Without looking at the numbers, the scale of balance is even.
This will obviously be supported by the fact that from 1974 when Zaire was beaten 9-0 at a FIFA World Cup to a point Cameroon were cheated from a semi-final berth against England in Italia ’90 and freshly, Ghana being Suarezed off the semi-final in the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup, Africa and blacks have been more acceptable much less than their ability but as a way of pulling off cheap political mileage by FIFA, clubs and individuals.
Pele is famous for having predicted an African team winning the FIFA World Cup before the turn of the century. Pele, the World’s best player ever and a true legend was basing his naive opinions on merit alone. He looked at football as a game and at black players as masters of football. While that fact is proven, the reality is that Africans are actually the slaves and not masters when it comes to the beautiful game. Africa will never be allowed to win the World Cup unless there is a huge point to score by the organisors. There will not be a FIFA World Player Of The Year. Theirry Henry should have been one at one point. FIFA can ask the captains to recite or read the ‘FIFA Fair Play code against racism’, but frankly, how many times have we seen that happen followed by monkey chants the following week when black players take to the pitch? These are actually a result of the superiority of the black players.
You will remember how France dominated the game in the 1998 -2000 era. That was a window that showed the world what Africa can do, given the right resources and fair chance. I am not saying France is Africa, but we will not be naive enough and bury our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t know the African element in that squad. The whites did not like it and from there on, there was deliberate efforts to throw spanner in the works up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. France totally collapsed and the white world was happy.
It will be hard to ask for fair playing ground and harder because if you ask, who will have to grant it. As blacks, we may need a few things to take our levels up. It is easier and simpler in athletics, where if you are Jessie Owens, you can sprint across a finish line and then Hitler can decide not to shake your hand, but all people saw the sprint. If you are Mohammed Ali, it may be harder as you will need a referee who may not be black, then you will be motivated to plummet your opponent to a pulp. Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt and the William sisters all had to grind their results in contrasting fashions. In individual sports, there is not much suppression and manipulation of results is not easy.
Actually, my point is, with the all the black talent in football, how come there is not even one black coach or Manager of note in top flight football in the UK, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga? Paul Ince has been trying to match his white counterparts, namely Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes, Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate and Stuart Pierce, just to name a few, without breaking into the Premiership. We can talk of Rikjaard and Gullit from La Liga and the Premiership respectively, but look at the ratio. Is the race issue so bad that professional football players will not hearken to black mentors, and is it the reason why African football associations are so colonised they will not trust their own black coaches to coaches national teams, even if they are paid less and produce better results?
In an ordinary day, I would feel this article is offensive to white or non black people, and this is exactly the mentality that has made many people and nations failures. In the quest to be polite, they lost the plot and sank. Frankly, black people are their own first huddle, especially Africans. The ‘white is cool’ mentality has not taken us anywhere but down. I guess if someone screws you and do so that you keep smiling, there is no reason to ask them to stop. Worse with us, we screw ourselves, and hard.