Ivory Coast coach Patrice Bummel protested the pitch situation in Douala on Wednesday where his team will face Algeria in the crucial final Africa Cup of Nations group match. Bummel was talking about the ridiculous mistake made by Ivory Coast goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare during the injury that gave Sierra Leone a 2-2 draw at Sunday’s side meeting in Cameroon’s economic capital and prevented the Elephants from finishing 16th. “I think this part of the pitch is a disaster. Everyone knows, “Bummel said.
“The pitch is right. I didn’t say it’s awesome, it’s okay, but day after day, game after game, of course it’s very difficult to keep it in good condition when you use the pitch. “
His comments come amid rumors that AFCON organizers may choose to move the remaining matches at the Japoma Stadium in Douala to one of two venues in the capital, Yaounde.
Japoma Stadium is set to host two matches on Thursday, in which the Ivorians will face Algeria in their Group E final before Mali face Mauritania in Group F.
It will then host the last-16 tie, two quarter-finals and one semifinal on January 26.
Bummel, meanwhile, said he maintained faith in Sangare after his devastating mistake against Sierra Leone and suggested that the 35-year-old retain his place despite being informed of his father’s death immediately after the match.
“It’s a chain of events that is difficult for him and the team to deal with,” said Frenchman Bummel.
“From a football standpoint he felt responsible. I told him that even great players make mistakes.
“His knee was injured in the incident but he was examined at night and the ligament was not damaged. It was just a heavy blow.
“We are always on the lookout, but it looks like it will have a green light.
“It simply came to our notice then. We had to get up at 4am with some senior players and talk to them about this.
“It has been a challenging time but Badra is focused. Everyone still has faith in him. “
Bummel said he hoped Manchester United center-back Eric Bailey would be able to play despite needing stitches to his scalp and his lip sores, which prevented him from training.
Wilfred Zaha also hopes to recover from a timely shoulder injury to play.