Watching the world cup, one can be forgiven for being depressed about his African heritage. After four games played, one goal scored and no wins, Africa hadn’t particularly showed that it was ready to compete with the very best in the world.
Senegal’s contentious win over Poland brought some measure of hope but even that was quickly followed by Egypt’s 3 – 1 loss to Russia that confirmed their mathematically elimination from the competition.
Sadly, this is not an unusual occurrence in world cup competitions. In fact, none of three African countries that qualified for the Quarter Finals have progressed beyond that stage. This is particularly surprising when considering an argument usually made for the lack of home grown talent in Africa is juxtaposed with the knowledge that France won the 1998 world cup final with a squad filled with players of African roots.
It has continually been proven that African footballers never truly realize their potential until they cross borders into Europe. Better organized leagues, better pay and better training facilities always attract the best and until CAF begins to take serious steps to address the obvious deficiencies in African League competitions, we will remain the perennial also-rans.
But hey, at least, we are not getting seriously beat. We are competing, just not winning and hopefully, someday, that will not be enough.
-Ed of MBB