Editorial :

Laminated but still alive

What kind of entry!!! Cashing 5 goals in the same match, this is an exceptional situation for our club.

On the lawn of Rabat, our team sank in front of an adversary who was far superior to us and his large victory is undeniable.

The only thing to say to our players is to work even more to not undergo such humiliating routs for them and our club. Respect for football nevertheless obliges all its actors to accept the results obtained on the green rectangle.  The WAC was not any adversary since he was the recent winner of this competition in 2017 and his players enjoyed a great experience of the African Cup, much better than ours.

Despite everything, the blow is hard to take! However, the competition is just beginning. 5 games remain to be played and 15 points to be taken. The second scheduled day in Abidjan against the Nigerians of Lobi Stars this Saturday will be crucial in that a victory would allow us to reposition ourselves in the race for qualification. This start is indispensable and we cannot believe that our valued players remain on this scathing defeat without reacting.

However, let us return to this game and particularly to the opposition between the countries of the north and those of Sub-Saharan Africa whose commentators of African football often mention.  In these regions there are indeed several categories of countries at the club level, corresponding to various realities.

However, a real analysis shows that the real distinction is not geographical but economic, as everywhere in the world. On the one hand, there are clubs that are able to keep their best players and/or recruit them in other African countries and on the other, those who are not able to recruit or retain theirs. 

Thus, with regard to Morocco and excluding the many Moroccan bi-national players born in European countries, a large part of the best players trained in Morocco evolves in the best clubs of the kingdom and in particular at the Wydad Athletic Club, the club Lighthouse with the RAJA. The same situation is reproduced in Tunisia with the hope of Tunis or in Egypt with Al Ahly. You will notice that these 3 teams are the 4 finalists of the last 2 editions of the most prestigious interclub competition of the CAF.

Conversely, very few clubs in sub-Saharan Africa are able to retain their best players, with the exception of TP Mazembe and Mamelodi Sundowns (winners in 2015 and 2016). These two mentioned clubs have very important financial means that allow them to compete with the clubs of North Africa by keeping their best players and by recruiting the best African players. No other club in sub-Saharan Africa is able to do so, their budgets being between 10 and 20 times lower than those of African champions.

A feat is always possible, but as in Europe or a very small number of clubs (5 or 6) trust the seats in the ¼ of the Champions League each season. The others, including the ASEC Mimosas, are fighting for the places of honor.

This of course raises the question of the economic model of the clubs. While the major North African clubs are based on popularity (and state support for some), the Congolese club rests largely on its patron and that of South Africa on the TV and commercial rights of that country to the otherwise powerful economy Other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Our model has its limits, but it has proved its worth, because it is the one that allowed our club to be always there today, with its heritage, its track record, its loyal partners and its healthy finances. It makes it possible to look at the future with confidence and optimism.



Maître Roger OUÉGNIN