Since March 2020, professional football has been at a standstill in this Central African country. Without income, the players will do their best to survive.
Usually, on Saturdays, Alex Pambo should conduct professional training as a professional football player. However, the striker of club Lozo Sport, located in the town of Raduville in central Gabon, will have to turn again. In the small country of Central Africa, no one has walked the lawn of the stadium since the spring of 2020 and the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. After all other African countries have regained their championships, this interruption will not end.
If he has the courage, then 21-year-old Alex Pambo may enter a campaign to maintain some form of appearance and then resume his new job as a glassmaker on Monday. ” My monthly income is about 200 Euros, but the club no longer pays salaries. Therefore, I started training as a glassmaker. Because I am just an apprentice, I can earn 100 or 150 Euros, sometimes less. While waiting for the championship battle to resume, we must live a good life… »
Like hundreds of Gabonese football players, Pangbo found himself deprived of his livelihood overnight. And fell into a severe depression. ” In the past, even if we tried hard to get a salary, at least we played. I am going through a very difficult period. Yes, I am very depressed. Sometimes I can’t get up in the morning to go jogging. What is it for? We don’t know when to play again.When, like me, we only eat once or twice a day, the physical effort is hard to tolerate, Continues the international history of less than 20 years. Why did the country refuse us to rebroadcast? »
Sports Minister Franck Nguema first put forward the health argument. A ministerial decree in early November 2020 suspends the practice of group sports to prevent the spread of the virus. He explained that the abolition of the text depends on the prevalence of the epidemic. The epidemic has officially killed 136 people since its outbreak, but has revived since January. ” We have found that there has been a decrease in recent days, but we must observe whether it has been confirmed to consider phasing out restrictive measures », he pointed out.
However, the Gabonese National Association of Professional Footballers (ANFPG), chaired by the former international leader Rémy Ebanega (Rémy Ebanega), raised a question. ” Why not at least try to restore the championship through strict hygiene procedures like other places in Africa?The trial was played against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Franceville in March [est du Gabon] Eligibility in obtaining CAN [Coupe d’Afrique des nations] 2021, no problem. »
Therefore, the union recommends that players seek another job at least temporarily. “Many people are in shocking financial and mental conditions because of their families and responsibilities. Some are threatened by donors’ expulsion », continue to Ebanega. ANFPG distributes food packs and basic necessities, and pays when the rent of players who are about to live on the street can be rented.
president Gabon Football Federation (Fegafoot) Pierre-Alain Mounguengui (Pierre-Alain Mounguengui) is considering restoring the championship In September or October” as long as. However, this status quo is not only caused by health arguments, but also not by financial arguments. Because in Gabon, the state pays subsidies to clubs every year so that they can bear most of the expenses. With the interruption of the tournament, this funding was suspended, allowing the country to save some considerable expenses during these scarcity periods.
For its part, the government accuses clubs of misusing funds already paid to harm football players at the end of the chain. ” Since 2012, the state has injected 54 million euros.We are concerned about the beneficiary’s management of this payment, Emphasizes Franck Nguema (Franck Nguema). As part of the reform of football, arrangements will be made shortly so that athletes can live with dignity, free from professional influence. »
Is Gabon preparing to sacrifice a generation of players? ” Yes it is, The time is Alex Pambo. You can’t make up without playing for a year and a half. For the elderly, this is early retirement.For the youngest child, this is an opportunity to lose the opportunity to go abroad, because if there is no competition, we cannot show ourselves. “Franck Nguema said he believed in it.” The sports and social conditions of athletes will soon improve “And ask football players to do this” Keep hope ».
At the same time, the latter demonstrated in front of the Fegafoot headquarters on Thursday, April 22. Their proposition? Part of the FIFA Covid grant-the 1.2 billion euro aid program provided to the football community in June 2020-is used to pay for years of unpaid wages for several years, rather than to fund the opening of a financial derivative product intended for sale. .