Zambia FA chief Kalusha Bwalya has launched a thinly veiled attack on Andre Ayew claiming the continent is failing to reach its true potential because of the “prima donna” attitude of some Europe-based.
Zambia’s greatest player said when some of the players return home to play for their countries they break team rules which they will not do with their clubs in Europe.
In what could resonate strongly with Ghana, Kalusha said the “prima donna” attitude from some stars based abroad leads to indiscipline in the national teams.
His attack comes in the week that Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah warned Ayew over his attitude in the national team following the midfielder reaction when he was substituted in the qualifier against Malawi.
Ayew, who plays for French side Marseille, was given one week to apologise to the technical team and his team-mates over his actions when he was substituted in this month’s game.
The mdifielder launched a verbal attack on the technical team for the substitution and refused to shake hands with his team-mates, prompting action from the coach.
Kalusha, now a successful football administrator as CAF Executive Committee member, believes there is no excuse for players to not respect their national sides.
“I hear so many times that when players come back to play for their respective countries, they want to be treated them like prima donnas,” the 1988 African Player of the Year told the BBC.
“When some Africans become big stars it can lead them to be ill disciplined.
“My question would be ‘why do we as players act one way in Europe – for clubs – and differently for national associations?’
“Why can they not exhibit the same discipline that they have in Europe?”
“Unfortunately I hear so many stories of football indiscipline, mixed a little bit with outside indiscipline when players in Africa all of a sudden become big stars.
“It should be an obligation for our players to behave for their national teams as well as they behave in Europe for their clubs.”
Kalusha, who spent five years at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, reserved praise for Ivorian star Didier Drogba, insisting that players must lead by example so that future generations will act in the appropriate way.
“I want to also commend players like Didier Drogba – he is always there for his national team and exhibits the same commitment he does for his club,” said Kalusha who made 147 appearances for Zambia and is their most capped player.
“And everybody aspires to be a star like Drogba or Samuel Eto’o. So it is important that when players come back to Africa they show the same discipline because there are millions and millions of people following them in whatever they do.”