Supersport International has suspended controversial soccer analyst Mamadou Gaye following a complaint by FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya and other officials from the Confederations of African Football ( CAF ).
Mamadou was blunt about Zambia’s dubious penalty against Nigeria on January 25 calling it “bogus” and a “shame” to the standards of officiating in Africa.
According to www.bolaZambia.com, the Ivorian commentator, one of the most popular panellist on SuperSport, accused Kalusha – a CAF executive committee member – of being a blue-eyed boy of Issa Hayatou while on set.
Mamadou alleged that Kalusha’s closeness to Hayatou – the longtime CAF president – had earned Chipolopolo some favours from referees.
Zambia were gifted a rather controversial penalty in a Group C fixture against Nigeria which levelled scorers at 1-all with goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene stepping up to expertly convert the spot-kick and snatch a point for the team five minutes from full time.
Mamadou, who was in the Randburg Studios in South Africa for match analysis, did not have kind words for Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha and the CAF leadership.
Kalusha immediately responded via twitter calling Mamadou “stupid” and lacking in football understanding.
Kalusha twitted on January 25, 2013, “…just goes to show that Mamadou does not know anything about Football. He should talk about Cote DIvoire and not Zambia. Stupid really.”
It did not just end with that twitter message. The ‘all powerful’ Kalusha descended on top Supersport management demanding Mamadou’s expulsion from the panel of expert analysts.
Sources say FAZ also organized individuals to write threatening emails to Supersport demanding the expulsion of Mamadou from the panel of experts analyzing the Africa Cup of Nations.
According to the sources, FAZ was determined to organize a gang of people to storm SuperSport offices and fish Mamadou out using force if SuperSport did not yield to their demands.
And SuperSport obliged to protect the business interest of their partnership with the Zambian Super League sponsorship sacrificing the frank-talking Mamadou from the set.
Head of communications at SuperSport Clinton van de Berg, according to media reports, could neither deny nor confirm Mamadou’s suspension saying; “Mamadou Gaye is a freelance analyst on SuperSport and we reserve the prerogative to schedule him as and when the need arises.”
Mamadou was reluctant to discuss his suspension when contacted by telephone.
“I was booked to do certain games for the Africa Cup [but] I was just called not to come to studio in the meantime,” he said.
When asked if the sudden stop to appear on set had anything to do with his stance on Zambia, Kalusha and CAF, the Ivorian football consult responded; “If you contact offices of Supersport, they will give you a better story.”
Further pressed to explain his hatred for Zambia and Kalusha, Mamadou said he only spoke his mind based on his understanding of football and stressed he has been one of the keen supporters of the 1988-African Footballer of the Year.
“I don’t hate Zambia. Why?” he asked, “I was a big supporter of Kalusha as a former player when he came into FAZ and CAF Exco.”
Mamadou said he was now disappointed with Kalusha’s behaviour because he was playing wrong politics with the Hayatou clique.
He said most disappointing was Kalusha’s strong campaign for Hayatou to be a CAF life president which led to the change in provisions of the body’s statutes on eligibility to contest the presidency. Hayatou has been CAF president since 1988 and is set to get a four-year mandate in March 2013.
CAF recently changed the statutes stating that only executive committee members can contest the presidency, a development that was aimed at blocking Ivorian Jacques Anouma and South African Danny Jordaan from challenging the Cameroonian in March 2013.
“I stick to my principles and Kalusha disappointed me and a lot of other people. He was the one campaigning to keep Hayatou forever [in office]. He was the main campaigner.
“When you get into wrong politics, you forget the essentials. Now decisions are won in the board and it’s reflecting on Chipolopolo.”
Kalusha or his spokesperson Erick Mwanza was not immediately available for comment.