Spain criticised for E.Guinea friendly

The Spanish national team have been condemned for accepting a friendly against Equatorial Guinea next Saturday.

Vicente Del Bosque’s men face the African side in Malabo on November 16, but activists have criticised the world champions for playing in a country whose regime have been accused of torturing political opponents.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is Africa's longest serving leader after coming to power in a coup in 1979. Critics accuse his regime of torture of political opponents and plundering the country's oil wealth, while much of the population lives in poverty.

“I cannot imagine England deciding to play a friendly against the Zimbabwean national team while Robert Mugabe is in power," Tutu Alicante, director of the human rights group EG Justice said.

“Using huge sporting events like this one, or bringing Julio Iglesias to sing [which Obiang did last summer], or organising multimillion-dollar beauty pageant competitions are the kinds of magnanimous distractions that dictators like to use to keep poor people happy.

"We have one of the worst cases of economic apartheid going on in Equatorial Guinea at this moment. How can the Spanish justify showing up to play football there?

"How can they not realise that their presence is only going to bolster the image and credibility of the corrupt authoritarian regime of the longest serving president in the world?"

Tags Equatorial Guinea Spain