The response to the attack on the Togolese team from much of the rabble that constitutes the English Premier League was predictable. The emirs and oligarchs did not say much, leaving it to some of the old fashioned brass merchants to bellow about bringing their players "home".
Arsène Wenger was not of the same mind. When asked if he wanted to bring his players back to Britain (where let's not forget Irish continuity forces still use the occasional bullet and bomb), Wenger was a beacon of sensibility and preferred to express his respect for Africa.
"We won't be asking Fifa to release them, and I'll be happy for Eboué to play in Cabinda on Monday," said Wenger. "I believe it would be disrespectful to Africa and the Africa Nations Cup [to bring them home]. You can't always encourage Africa to develop and if something happens say 'come back to Europe'."
"I don't believe you can just stop any competition for any incident, because that would be a reward for the people who provoke these atrocities. It would mean any competition could be stopped at any time. An international federation has to make sure the security is well respected and good enough for the event. Of course, you have to leave it individually to some players so that, if they feel insecure or scared, they have the possibility to come away from it. But I personally feel the competition has to go on."
The English game is richer not because of emirs and oligarchs, but because of men like Arsène Wenger who still live and breath football.
(I am sure some would like to trigger a discussion about Arsenal and other European clubs exploiting young African players. We can have that another time. Here, Wenger deserves credit for his optimism and confidence in Africa.)