Geoffrey Kondogbia will not be playing for the Central African Republic in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The midfielder, who has withdrawn from the national team, took advantage of a stay in Bangui to criticize the management of the national team by the Federation.
On 12 October 2018, after a missed first appointment, Central African fans saw Geoffrey Kondogbia honor his first cap. The story then seemed set to last. But since then, he has made only eight short appearances for the Fauves. Worse, he voluntarily withdrew from the team since the summer of 2021, refusing to respond to invitations. The Atletico Madrid player took advantage of his visit to the country to give a press conference and restore his truth.
"If I withdrew, it was to deplore the lack of organization and discipline," lamented Geoffrey Kondogbia, before continuing: "At the time, we had no staff two weeks before a match and no stadium. A situation to which the player had tried to alert the members of the federation, obviously without success since the Central African Republic currently has no approved stadium and must play its 2023 AFCON qualifiers away from home. A situation that weighs on the midfielder. "My biggest pain is not playing in front of the fans. It really hurts. There are countries that have had the same problem, but for us it has gone on too long," he added.
A lack of organization and infrastructure concerns enough to push the former Monaco and Inter Milan to put his international career on hold. A parenthesis, but not a retirement. At least not yet. Geoffrey Kondogbia leaves the door open to a return, but under certain conditions. "Concretely, I want to have my say on important things for this long-term project. I have the legitimacy to be able to ask for this position and to think that my opinion counts, and that I am consulted for the success of the Fauves," he said in order to have a free hand and be listened to by the leaders of the Central African Football Federation. "I have the experience for that. I had the chance to work with people who won everything, I played with the best players in the world. Dialogue is not about imposing anything. The most important thing is the success of the Fauves.
The comments were received differently by the Fauves' fans, but also by the federal officials. If some fans consider Kondogbia's criticism legitimate, as they see their team currently play its games in Angola where they lost 2-1, others believe that the player is taking advantage of his status to overstep his role and claim powers. In any case, this media outing has had the merit of reopening the debate on the management of Central African football.