On Tuesday, November 29 at 19:30 GMT:
The first ever midseason World Cup is underway in Qatar and some are asking if this could be the year an African team will finally win the trophy. Ever since the legendary Brazilian footballer Pele declared an African nation would win before the year 2000 it’s a question that inevitably accompanies the tournament.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the continent’s first, had been touted as an opportunity to bring vitality to football across Africa. But more than a decade later, some say the expected surge hasn’t materialised. South Africa itself has failed to qualify for the tournament competitively since 2002 and hasn’t appeared since 2010. No African team has made it to the semi-finals while only three nations have made it as far as the quarter-finals.
Many point to the failures of the Confederation of African Football, which oversees the sport on the continent, for the lack of success along with corruption, a lack of investment, poor football infrastructure and an overreliance on European pipelines for elite talent. While these may serve as setbacks, experts say many of the issues can be addressed by more investment in the grassroots level of the game and the cultivation of talent locally.
While the cup itself has remained elusive, things are looking different in 2022. For the first time, all five African nations present at the World Cup – Tunisia, Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon and Senegal – will be lead by African coaches, while this tournament also marks the first time an African woman has been appointed to officiate. A change to FIFA’s nationality rules in 2020 has also allowed African teams to recruit from the global diaspora, resulting in young and otherwise previously ineligible talent making the decision to play for African teams.
Is all this enough to break Africa’s World Cup glass ceiling?
In this episode of The Stream, we discuss what it will take for an African team to win the World Cup.
In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Kingsley Pungong @RainbowSports1
CEO & Founder, Rainbow Sports
Mas-Ud Didi Dramani @GhanaBlackstars
Assistant Coach, Ghana National Team
Saddick Adams @SaddickAdams