Former South African player Benni McCarthy has claimed there is a conspiracy against African players for global individual laurels because they’re not Box Office material.
McCarthy argues that certain players; with marketability, will get the nod even at the expense of worthy African players blazing the trail in the sport.
The former Ajax and Porto star told BBC Sport that some African greats were ignored because they couldn’t attract magazine or newspaper sales – although Liberian legend George Weah won every major award in Europe and the FIFA World Player of the year in 1995.
“We are not eye-catching in Europe. We are players that they look past because they look the more lucrative, worthy players that will sell more newspapers, sell more magazines and be more of attraction.
“If an African player wins it there’s not a lot of attraction but, if Gareth Bale wins it, if Rooney wins it, if Ronaldo wins it – it’s World news, breaking news.
“Yaya Toure has been but never been recognized, Didier Drogba has been there; never been recognized, Samuel Eto’o has been there; never been recognized, Jay Jay Okocha has been there; never been recognized, Nwankwo Kanu…I can go on, the list can go on but we’ve not been recognized.”
“So, I think because it’s not lucrative enough for them to pick an African as world best player because it won’t sell.
“Football is a business my friend, everywhere, football clubs, FIFA; everywhere it’s about making money,” the Cape Town City Coach said.