'No Arabic': Arab Athlete Protests Request at African Cup

Published January 16th, 2022 - 08:07 GMT
Yassine Bounou
More than 150 million Africans speak Arabic as a mother language. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP)

Hiccups at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held currently at Cameroon continue, with a protesting message made by Morroco's goalkeeper Yassine Bounou after being asked to speak either English or French during a press conference.

Yassine Bounou was asked by a representative of the Confederation of African Football to either speak English or French, explaining that there are no translators from Arabic at the conference.

Translation: "Morocco's goalkeeper spoke Arabic during a press conference at the African cup so he was interrupted and asked to speak either English or French for the lack of translators. He speaks both languages but he still told them the problem was theirs to solve and proceeded to speak Arabic."

This incident caused the Canada-born footballer to protest the request and say that he "comes from an Arabic-speaking country" and that the "translation problem is not for him to solve."

This is not the first time Arab athletes in Africa face the language problem as Arabic continues to not be an official language for the Confederation of African Football.

Translation: "Imagine a Spanish footballer being told to speak English at the European Cup because there are no translators. This one is on the organizers."

Online people widely shared the video saying this is not the first time Arabic-speaking athletes face this problem, urging the Confederation of African Football to recognize Arabic as an official language, as it is spoken by over 150 million people across the continent. 

This incident comes after the national team of Mauritania protested the mistake made by organizers of the African Cup of Nations, as they played the country's old national anthem three times

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