What would a season be like without ASEC/AFRICA derbies? The one we were able to live on this Sunday was a nice bill! With commitment, emotion, suspense and… a beautiful winner!
These matches, like all the great derbies on the football planet, always have a special flavor. As soon as the calendar of the new season is known, we start to scrutinize it, looking for the date of the Derby and the more the days approaching, the more tension rises. The week of the match regularly sees the supporters of both sides abuse and raise the pressure on the players of the match (players, coaches, referees, officials…).
Historically, a derby is first of all the story of a rivalry between two clubs of the same city or region and opposes two visions of the world. Rich against poor (in the image of the Istanbul derby between Fenerbace and Galatasaray or the Argentine Superclasico pitting the “Milionarios” of River Plate to the popular classes of Boca juniors), Protestants against Catholics (Celtic Glasgow vs. Glasgow Rangers), capital against province (Paris “the haughty” against Marseille “La Populaire”)…
With regard to the Ivorian derby, the rivalry that has been built over the decades is both regional (the Africa Sports, formerly Bété Sports Circle being rather anchored in the west of the Ivory Coast when the Mimos want to be the team of the People Without a regional attachment. This is how the ASEC of Abidjan will become the ASEC Mimosas) but also cultural. This is reflected in their slogans: “Children have fun” for the ASEC Mimosas against “Blood on the Grass” for the Africa Sports or their emblems (the flower Mimosas against the eagle).
These derbies represent more than a football match and are worth more than the 3 points awarded to the winner. A win allows supporters of the winning team to fleece those of the rival team for several months, waiting for the next opposition. It is not uncommon to hear the supporters of both sides say “that being champion without beating the rival does not taste the same way”.
That is why, it is often said “that a derby, it is won”, like a final! And for the 6th time in the last 6 confrontations, the flower has toppled the eagle. A beautiful metaphor to show that the best is not always the one who cries the loudest!!!
Cheers for the next derby!