We often read of football-related violence that occurs in the stands/terraces, between players, against referees, and out on the streets between rival hard-core factions.
But here was an another unfortunate incident. Against a medical assistant who was assisting an injured player from Cameroon, Rigobert Song. Song had collided with his own keeper, along with Junior Ogogo of Ghana. But what followed was perhaps a novel event. I have never seen anything of this nature before.
Andre Bikey of Cameroon lost his head, and as you will see from the video, rigorously pushed a medical staffer to the ground. He claimed that someone provoked him to behave in this fashion; however, a definitive statement has not yet been released by Mr. Bikey. (I will add it to our comments section if and when he does make an official statement).
This event occurred during injury time in one of the semi-final games of the African Cup of Nations which was won by Cameroon, 0 x 1, against the hosts, Ghana. Bikey will miss the final against Egypt, and Cameroon was fined US $5000 by the CAF.
Reading teammate Ibrahima Sonko Defends Bikey
Mr. Sonko had represented Senegal at the competition, and made the following comment to BBC Sports.
“He over-reacted but he had been pushed first. Bikey was just trying to protect this old man who was there to help Song.”
Samuel Ashia, the Medical Officer, Speaks Out
This quote appeared in the Sunday Guardian.
“It was very forceful, and I landed badly. It didn’t hurt at the time but the next day my head ached and the area around my waist did, too. Lots of people, friends and strangers, have told me I should have retaliated, but I was there to do a job. I didn’t talk to him at all. I stood up and as he started talking away I just looked at him. He’s bigger than I am – and I’m there to do my job and not to fight.
If he wants to talk to me now, before the final, then I will listen. But I don’t want to meet him again because he attacked me for no reason. I will just carry on doing my job and I don’t expect it to happen again. Players should respect us – we are there to save lives.”
Mr. Ashia will be on the pitch at the final.
Comments by Steve Coppell, Bikey’s club side manger, at Reading FC
“I can only assume something happened that we couldn’t see,” Coppell told Sky Sports News.
“They (Cameroon) were in a great position in the game, the clock was ticking away, there was an almost dormant instant in the game, and then he’s run over there. He’s no fool. Something must have happened to spark him off that wasn’t visible on the TV. As soon as he comes back we will speak to him. It looked crazy on TV but he got really incensed about something, it wasn’t a spontaneous act.”
Given that we have not seen an official statement or apology from Andre Bikey, what are your opinions about this incident?
Steve Amoia is the author and editor of World Football Commentaries, and also writes for Soccerlens.