Ivory Coast’s participation at the 2015 Afcon is under threat as their government and FA head on a warpath.
For starters, the government say they could not afford a budget presented by the football federation.
The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), this week in deliberations over its Afcon participation told the government it requires 3.5 billion CFA francs (US$ 6.65 million) to finance the Elephants for the tournament.
The sports ministry has offered to sponsor just about 10% of the budget proposed by the Football Association for preparations and participation in the tournament scheduled for Equatorial Guinea.
The FIF has opted to use the luxurious Zayed Sports City facility in the UAE for its Afcon camp. The cost of the training camp among other items in the budget has been considered excessive by the government.
Too much or just enough?
An instance is a provision for a ‘qualification premium’ of 446 million francs CFA (US$ 846 501) which the sport ministry believes was already catered for in the budget for the qualifiers.
The government has instead, offered to fund the 2015 Afcon with 310 million CFA francs (US$ 588 375) – ten times far less than expected for the competition which spans from January 17 to February 8.
“Yes, the FIF has presented an estimated budget of about 3.5 billion CFA francs to the ministry. This budget is over 300 million CFA francs (US$ 569,395) less than that for the 2013 Afcon. But during a recent meeting convened by the sports ministry, it informed the federation that the government could intervene with only up to 310 million francs,” FIF spokesperson Pierre Gondo confirmed.
The ministry’s stance has left the FIF alarmed and the spokesperson says it is impossible for the Elephants who will be making their 21st appearance at the Afcon to compete with such amount.
“Can we go to the Afcon with 310 million? It is technically impossible… It is simple and very clear. We have made the effort to prepare our team better.”
The FIF has implored the government to reconsider its stance.
Head coach Herve Renard, whose side is placed in Group D alongside Guinea, Mali and Cameroon expect to open the Abu Dhabi camping on January 2, 2015.