Cameroon Sports: French naturalization of Joel Embiid “is sad for the African continent?

Cameroon Sports: French naturalization of Joel Embiid “is sad for the African continent?

N Melo
by N Melo
July 17, 2022 0

Cameroon Sports: French naturalization of Joel Embiid “is sad for the African continent?

Cameroon: Joel Embiid, a new case of plundering Africa’s sports?
At 28, the Cameroonian NBA superstar has just obtained French nationality. A choice much commented, on both sides of the Mediterranean.

The French naturalization of Joel Embiid “is sad for the African continent. In making these comments on the website of the sports daily L’Équipe, former basketball player Sacha Giffa does not forget his 52 selections for the French team and his position as assistant on the bench of the Metropolitans 92 of Levallois-Perret. But it is as coach of the Cameroon basketball team that he comments on the awarding of a French passport to an African nugget.

Cameroon: Joel Embiid, world basketball star, does he want to become French?
If he says he has not totally lost hope of seeing Joel Embiid – the “best player” in Cameroon – one day play with the team he coaches, he suspects that the pivot of the U.S. team Philadelphia Sixers could give in to the possible advances of his new national team.

Soon the Olympics?
It is following administrative steps that he had recently revealed to have begun and a decree, published July 4 in the French Official Journal, that “EMBIID (Joel, Hans), born on 16/03/1994 in Yaounde (Cameroon)” is listed among “persons who are naturalized French, reinstated in the French nationality and seized by the collective effect attached to the acquisition of French nationality by their parents.

The career of the now Franco-Cameroonian speaking for him, this naturalization opens the way to a possible French selection for the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris. Since 2016, the basketball player had approached the French Federation of Basketball.

Top scorer in the last regular season with an average of 30.6 points per game, Embiid is one of the star players of the prestigious American National Basketball Association (NBA), a grail that could only be completed by an Olympic title. But Boris Diaw, general manager of the French basketball players, also a former NBA player and also rich in African roots – Senegalese in this case -, indicated at the end of June that Embiid’s naturalization would not guarantee him a direct access to the French team.

Meanwhile, some African observers see this naturalization as an opportunistic move by France. If the world of soccer has been the scene of a real plundering of Africa – a part of the “economic and social rape” of the continent, according to the former head of FIFA Sepp Blatter – other sports have not always been left behind in terms of administrative procedures sewn up with white thread.

At the end of the 1990s, many Africans were, for once, in tune with the far right, when they were moved by the naturalization of Sierra Leonean Eunice Barber at the age of 24: the world champion in heptathlon and long jump spoke an approximate French…

N Melo
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