[QODLink]
2008 Africa Cup of Nations
Hayatou continues attack on critics
Africa's football chief tells critics to stop putting themselves first.
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2008 20:25 GMT

President of the Confederation of African Football Issa Hayatou, left, makes his feelings known to Fifa president Sepp Blatter [GALLO/GETTY]

African football chief Issa Hayatou blasted criticism by the continent's top players of the timing of the African Nations Cup on Friday, telling them to stop putting their own interest first.
 
Confederation of African Football president Hayatou, addressing a CAF congress in Accra, continued his firm line on the future of the tournament.
Among those bemoaning the holding of the event in the middle of the European season, where top African players earn their living, have been the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Michael Essien and El Hadji Diouf.

All have left their clubs at a key moment of the season to play in the Nations Cup, which starts in Ghanaon Sunday.

"The players who criticise the event should learn to put the interest of African football above those of their own," Hayatou said.

He again blamed climatic conditions in Africa as a reason for not switching the event to mid-year when club seasons are completed.

He also said Africa would also continue to hold the event every two years.

But CAF did make a minor concession earlier this week when they announced that the 2010 Nations Cup would start 10 days earlier, running from January 10-31 in Angola.

This will benefit clubs in countries where the leagues have a winter break.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.