Controversy in the Cup of Nations

Thursday 2 February 2012

It wouldn't be a football tournament in Africa without a little controversy and this time it comes from Gabon's co-host Equatorial Guinea.

Before the tournament began it was announced that Equatorial Guinea's President's son offered their national football team $1 million US for a win and an additional $20 000 US to anyone that scored a point.  This raised a couple of flags for many people but mostly are wondering how does the president's son have so much money to throw around when 70% of the population of EG live below the poverty line and tens of thousands of those don't have access to clean drinking water or electricity?

Actually, $1 million US is really just pennies in the bucket for for this man.  He is currently under investigation by the US government whom are hoping to recover over $71 million of embezzled money which they claim has been taken from the people of Equatorial Guinea.  He is rumoured to own a $35 million dollar mansion in Malibu, over $6 million of real estate in South Africa, a collection of 24 luxury sports cars valued at $10 million including 2 Bugatti Veyrons, $3.2 million in Michael Jackson memorabilia and many millions of dollars of assets in France and other countries around the world.  Who knew being the Minister of Agriculture could be so profitable?  He is also presumed to take over EG from his father who has been the president since 1979 when he overthrew the previous government in a military coup.

Despite the controversy, he paid out his promises after EG walked away with a victory last week.  There's talk that he's offered more compensation if they continue to perform well.

If you're curious about this character you can read a bit more here and here.

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