Africa Cup of Nations deserves more respect – Crystal Palace boss Vieira
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says the Africa Cup of Nations deserves more respect.
The tournament, which kicks off in Cameroon on January 9 has been delayed for a year by the coronavirus pandemic.
Vieira will lose lose three of his players to the tournament including Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal), Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) and Jordan Ayew (Ghana).
“I respect and understand the passion and the importance to players to go and represent their country so I will never stop any player going to play the Africa Cup of Nations,” the ex-Arsenal captain said.
“I believe that that competition needs to be more respected – because this competition is as important as the European Championships.”
He added, “It might be important for you guys to cover the Africa Cup of Nations a little bit more and to go to Africa and interview people to really understand what it means for every single one of them.”
“When you are talking about Senegal I don’t think people would really understand if (Sadio) Mane or Cheikou Kouyate didn’t represent their nation. If there was more coverage of that competition I think people will understand more how important it is for the African continent.”