In Football – 2014 Could be Africa’s Year!

The excitement and thrills of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations finally wound to a close on 10th February 2013, with the Super Eagles of Nigeria emerging champions. This came on the heels of an intense duel with the Stallions of Burkina Faso, who did not go down without a stern fight. It is pertinent to note that both sides received low pre-tournament ratings and even posted shaky starts to their respective campaigns! Although some games were marred by dubious officiating, which is a global problem of most sporting competitions, it was heartwarming to watch African sides as the ones aforementioned begin to show advanced levels of technique and tactics, armed with a plethora of young budding talent, that showed a hunger to succeed. And this brings this discuss to the issue of the World Cup to be staged in Brasil in 2014.
The tale of African sides at the biggest sporting competition in the world, started on an insignificant note from the 1970s before reaching staggering heights in recent times with sides like Cameroun, Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana reaching the knock-out stages of the competition, the latter almost securing a semi-final berth at the event in South Africa 2010!
I believe the time has come for Africa to lay claim to her first World cup success, in 2014.However a lot will depend on how member football associations in The Confederation of African Football( CAF) are able to marshal time and resources effectively and efficiently , whilst doing away with the administrative pitfalls of the past. Proper planning and judicious use of men and materials have always been the difference between the successes recorded by European and South- American teams; who place national interest above every other pecuniary ambition and African sides. An instance at this point will suffice. The Nigeria Football federation (NFF) is known to award huge sums as winning bonuses to members of their respective national teams. While one cannot fault the use of money as a motivational tool, it must be noted that patriotism and national pride should be the main driving force for individuals privileged to wear the colours of their national teams. Appropriate rewards should be decided at the end of a successful sporting campaign, whilst it is expected that welfare of athletes, players and officials are accorded the utmost priority before, during and even after such competitions come to a close! In addition such monies could have a greater effect if channeled towards the growth of the game at the grass root level, in order to ensure a steady nurturing of talent.
The next year and a half will prove critical, if Africa is to achieve this objective. As the qualifiers for the next World Cup begin in earnest, member associations must seize the opportunity of playing several games, to fully integrate experienced and new talents, whilst deploying resources in staging strategic friendly games against quality opposition, in order to instill the mindset and conditioning needed to excel at the topmost level.
Already, the newly crowned champions of Africa have their work cut out for them! This victory means that the Nigerian side will compete at the Confederations’ Cup, another football tournament where champions from each of the continents, gather to compete for honours. Interestingly, the competition will be hosted by Brasil, in June 2013.This opportunity affords the Super Eagles the chance to prove their mettle against successful footballing nations such as Spain (back-to-back winners of the European Cup, 2008 and 2012, and current World Cup holders, 2010), Uruguay (South American Champions), the host Brasil (five-time World Cup winners) and a number of other quality sides.
While it is disputable that a god of soccer exists, who grants victory to teams at competitions, what stands true is that success in sports and indeed at any endeavor is a culmination of targeted, consistent and selfless steps embarked upon to achieve desired goals. The time for Africa to act is now!

6 thoughts on “In Football – 2014 Could be Africa’s Year!” by Writeman (@writeman)

  1. It is quite possible for an African nation to win the World cup.
    I don’t think its a big deal.

  2. sorry to burst your bubble. Africa aint ready yet!

  3. You didn’t watch Atlanta 1996? We said same thing about France 1998.

  4. Please press pause, no need to fast forward, let’s wait and see…


  6. I think we stand a chance at winning.However, LC2 will bite their lips real tight after refusing to yield to BON’s initial fee for all to watch the AFCON matches on terrestial tv live. For once we have called their bluff.

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