Ghana08: Chelsea Boss in a fog over rain
Chelsea Coach, Avram Grant, has a sneering, condescending manner that endears him to few at press conferences. Fair enough. After the criticism he received when he first took the Chelsea job, a cordial relationship is hardly to be expected. But when an African reporter was politely explaining to him why the African Cup of Nations could not be played in summer to fit in with the European season, as Grant wishes, his patronising nature was indefensible. Told that a summer tournament would coincide with Africa’s rainy season, his lip almost curled. “In Europe, we play in rain,” he said.
No, we don’t. We play in showers, and the occasional heavy one. We play when it is spitting or, at worst, pouring. We do not play in rain as it is experienced on the African continent. Ghana, hosts of next year’s African Cup of Nations, has an average of 198mm precipitation in June, when Grant suggests the tournament is played, which is four times what Britain receives in December. Last June, in a freak British summer, an average of 140mm fell countrywide and Sheffield disappeared. This was still almost a quarter short of what Ghana receives in an average summer month.
Perhaps Michael Essien would like to take Grant back to his home when the season ends and demonstrate. Alternatively, he could replicate the drama of African rainfall in Grant’s office. A full bucket of water resting on a door slightly ajar should do it.