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HomeOpinionAFCON: A Distraction from Real Issues in Africa

AFCON: A Distraction from Real Issues in Africa


The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) brings joy and unity to the continent, captivating millions of fans with its thrilling football matches and celebrations. However, it is important to examine whether this tournament, while celebrated, can divert attention from pressing societal challenges that require our immediate attention.

The Heart of the Matter

AFCON creates a euphoric distraction, allowing people to momentarily forget about the hardships of daily life. The excitement and national pride that accompany the tournament can provide a temporary escape from the realities of poverty, healthcare struggles, and governance issues. While this escape is understandable, it is crucial to recognize that it may lead to complacency and a lack of urgency in addressing these critical issues.

Economic and Political Concerns

One cannot ignore the contradiction of spending scarce resources on elaborate football festivities while many African nations continue to face economic struggles and underfunded public services. The funds allocated to hosting AFCON could be better utilized to address poverty, improve healthcare systems, and invest in infrastructure. Additionally, politicians may use the success of AFCON to polish their images, diverting attention from policy failures or corruption. This further perpetuates the cycle of distraction and neglect.

A Call for Awareness

It is crucial to engage with football in a balanced manner, where the sport’s unifying power is also channeled towards social awareness and action. The media and public figures have a responsibility to leverage the platform provided by AFCON to spotlight and address pressing national issues. By using this opportunity to raise awareness, advocate for change, and mobilize resources, we can ensure that the tournament serves as a catalyst for positive social transformation.


While AFCON is undeniably a source of national pride and a celebration of African football, it should not overshadow the urgent need for attention to and action on Africa’s real challenges. We must collectively recognize the potential for distraction and work towards a more balanced approach. Let us celebrate African football while remaining vigilant and proactive in tackling societal issues. By doing so, we can harness the power of AFCON to bring about meaningful change and create a brighter future for the continent.