Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bikey: the madness (Episodes 1 & 2)

Episode 1 - flashback

I was at the crunch semi-final game between Cameroon and Ghana at the Ohene Djan stadium in Accra during the last Nations Cup.

In fact I was behind the goal posts, taking photos.

The Lions' captain was Rigobert Song and he'd collided with his own keeper, along with Ghana's Junior Agogo.

But as someone said, what followed was perhaps a novel event because I have also never seen anything of this nature before.

Andre Bikey of Cameroon lost his head, and as you will see from the video, rigorously pushed a medical staffer to the ground.

He claimed he was protecting the injured Song and that someone provoked him (Bikey) to behave in this fashion.

This event occurred during injury time in one of the semi-final games of the African Cup of Nations which was won by Cameroon against the hosts, Ghana. Bikey missed the final against Egypt, and Cameroon was fined US $5000 by the CAF.

Reactions, then.

Then Reading teammate Ibrahima Sonko (who played for Senegal at the tournament) defended Bikey, saying:

"He over-reacted but he had been pushed first. Bikey was just trying to protect this old man who was there to help Song."

Again, these were the comments by Steve Coppell, Bikey’s club side manager at Reading:

"I can only assume something happened that we couldn’t see They (Cameroon) were in a great position in the game, the clock was ticking away, there was an almost dormant instant in the game, and then he’s run over there.

"He’s no fool. Something must have happened to spark him off that wasn’t visible on the TV. As soon as he comes back we will speak to him. It looked crazy on TV but he got really incensed about something, it wasn’t a spontaneous act."

Meanwhile, Samuel Ashia, the Medical Officer, spoke to me later and told me what happened. Though I can't remember the exact words he said, here's what he told the Sunday Guardian.

"It was very forceful, and I landed badly. It didn’t hurt at the time but the next day my head ached and the area around my waist did, too.

"Lots of people, friends and strangers, have told me I should have retaliated, but I was there to do a job.

"I didn’t talk to him at all. I stood up and as he started talking away I just looked at him. He’s bigger than I am - and I’m there to do my job and not to fight.

"If he wants to talk to me now, before the final, then I will listen. But I don’t want to meet him again because he attacked me for no reason. I will just carry on doing my job and I don’t expect it to happen again.

Players should respect us - we are there to save lives."

Mr. Ashia was on the pitch at the final. Bikey wasn't.

Episode 2 - the present

I'm having a feeling that the video may be removed because of copyright issues. But here's the photo.

The incredible Hulk

The charge which was imposed on him is that he has to bear the ban of four matches. He was dismissed due to stamping Blake and also on throwing a shirt on the ground as well - as you can see.

He has since apologised for his, er, ways.

What do I think? Well, he's got issues. Obviously, no one touched Bikey this time. And he is having a hard time persuading anyone that he is okay...up there.

What do you think?