The Confederation of African Football (CAF) reacted to the suspension of the Senegalese player of Olympique de Marseille, Pape Guèye, by Fifa. Through a letter, it denounced the timing of the notification of the sanction that it finds « inopportune and disrespectful ».
Indeed, in a letter from the secretary general of Caf, Mr. Veron Mosengo Omba, addressed to his counterpart of Fifa and which the Fsf has received amplification, the African continental body writes: « We take note with surprise and dismay of the notification, in the middle of the African Cup of Nations, of the suspension by Fifa of the Senegalese player Pape Gueye in connection with a case that has lasted for more than a year at least. Engaged in the current Can, the player in question learned of this decision in the bus taking him to the stadium with his teammates for the Senegal-Guinea match. »
He added, according to Liberation online: « Let’s be clear, this is not a challenge to the decision itself, but a protest against its notification at a particularly inopportune time, in the midst of the flagship competition of the continent. In this case and according to my understanding, nothing prevented the competent body or official to wait three weeks until the end of the competition. One wonders if this body or these Fifa employees are aware that the African Cup of Nations exists and that it is being played at this time. Would they have published in this way without waiting for a suspension against a Mbappé in the middle of the Euro? »
According to Mr. Veron Mosengo Omba, the inopportune timing of the notification of this decision gives a bad perception of the good relationship between Fifa and Caf.
« It lends flank to those who say that Fifa does not respect Africa, while we know that this is not the case. I am well placed to say so. Moreover, this unfortunate notification destabilizes not only the team concerned, but also the competition, knowing that the player in question is in the marketing plan of Caf. This incident undermines the spirit of collaboration that we expected from a leading partner for Caf, « said the secretary general of Caf.
However, he reassured: « We count on you to take adequate measures to avoid such discomforts in the future and to explain, if necessary, the various competitions of Caf to the employees of Fifa, especially those of the division « legal. »