Thursday, November 14, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Statement Regarding Soccer Match Criticism

The news that Equatorial Guinea’ National soccer team, Nzalang, will play a friendly game against world and European champion, Spain’s national soccer team, La Roja, on Saturday, November 16, has created criticism from some political parties and institutions in Spain.

The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), through its Secretary-General, Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, has shared the following statement regarding the controversy that the upcoming friendly match has arisen.

The full text of the statement follows:

We consider that this sports event is just that: a sports event between two national teams of two nations that are united by some very important historical and cultural links. In fact, one must recall that for many years Equatorial Guinea was part of Spain, and both States share a top-level treasure: the Spanish language.

Like the entire Equatoguinean population, we are excited and grateful for the fact that the best national team of the world will visit our country and play soccer in the Malabo Stadium, where they will be welcomed with absolute and total enthusiasm by the thousands of fans that await them here. In this exceptional soccer match, the players of La Roja will not only find supporters against them, but the contrary: they will find a stadium completely devoted to the Spanish players and very thankful for their visit.

We profoundly and fully regret that, once again, certain political parties and other Spanish institutions have politicized this sports event, taking advantage of it for political reasons, pitting two countries against each other, and in order to generate controversy and create tension with an ally country such as Equatorial Guinea. Once again, we observe the ignorance of some of these parties that use brutal qualifiers to speak of our country, ignoring the social, economic and political development that Equatorial Guinea has experienced in recent years. We urge all of them to become better informed about Equatorial Guinea.

Furthermore, as Equatoguineans and not as politicians, it is aberrant to us that these politicians want to deprive the Equatorial Guinean population –in their supposed defense- of the great privilege of enjoying this match, as if soccer or any other sport were exclusively the entitlement of only a few. Perhaps all these political parties –which appear to be so democratic-consider that soccer should be a privilege of only those that merit their blessing.

From the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, we think that soccer, like any other sport, is an asset of humanity that should serve to unite and not to separate, and that it should be enjoyed and shared by all human beings, regardless of their race, nationalities or ideologies.

Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro
Secretary-General of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea