Keita offers to pay some of Mali player bonuses
DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Captain Seydou Keita won't let a possible disagreement over player bonuses spoil what he called Mali's "priceless" campaign at the African Cup of Nations — even if it means paying some of the money himself.
After Keita's Mali progressed to the quarterfinals, the skipper said there could still be a problem over extra payments for players if they reached the semifinals by beating host South Africa on Saturday.
But the former Barcelona midfielder said he would help if it was needed, and stressed Mali's attempt to succeed at the African Cup and win a first ever title to bring some joy to its troubled homeland was "not about money."
"You cannot imagine how moved and happy I am to be here today and be able to play a match that will bring joy to my country," Keita said after Mali's 1-1 draw with Congo saw it reach the least eight. "This is priceless. Money doesn't matter in such moments."
Mali has twice entered the cup with problems back home. At least year's tournament, Keita appealed for peace in Mali as a military coup unfolded while the team was playing in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. There, Mali made the semifinals and eventually finished third for one of its best results.
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