Tuesday, June 27, 2017

African football - no growth

(Nigeria;1996 Atlanta Olympics Champions - Panenka)
African football associations through miseducated and colonised leadership always paid huge sums for expatriates to come and develop the game, to no avail.

That mercenary hiring appetite seem unquenchable to date, but where is the Africa game, over 50 years since the formation of Confederation of African Football (CAF)?

The senseless football politicians labour to squander resources at the expense of toiling players and hurl insult at the disrespected local coaches who do so much with nothing.

Until 1990, when Cameroon beat Fifa World Cup champions with Diego Maradona, displayed top class playing ability and got cheated by officials and unfair play of England in the quarter-finals, Africa only asked to have more teams playing international matches and tournaments without adding any value.

That great team included Thomas Nkono, Roger Milla, Oman Biyik and Cryil Makanacky. It gave hope to many, that on a level playing field, Africans can perform. It was during the times that George Weah of Liberia and Abedi Pele of Ghana were arguably the best players in the whole world.

Among many memorable moments that are far between, the world rose in awe, as Nigeria won the 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold. Daniel Amokachi, Nwanko Kanu and Emmanuel Amunike were among a young crop of that generation. There was hope that maybe, just maybe, Africa had arrived.

Actually, two years before, Clemens Westerhof took the Super Eagles to within a minute to a quarter-final past Italy in the USA 94 Fifa World Cup. Rashidi Yekini, Peter Rufai, Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia, Sunday Oliseh, Victor Ikpeba and Austin JJ Okocha are some of the players of that special team.

Since, we have seen cameo challenges with Senegal of Al Haji Diouf in 2002 Fifa World Cup, and Ghana of 2010 South Africa Fifa World Cup, who were hard done by Luiz Suares' hand ball. Curse? I wonder.

The point is that, since these  documented heroics, the quarter-finals of the Fifa World Cups has been the ceiling, especially until the last minutes of the matches, despite the abundant playing talent.

As for the Fifa Confederation Cups, it has always been a disaster. Sterile performances and results are an eye sore. On top of that, another Fifa World Cup is around the corner and there is no hope whatsoever.

With overpaid foreign coaches, there seems to be no growth in the African game, tactically. What is Africa paying for?  

If all the cash used to pay astronomical mercenary fees was ploughed into football coaching education, results would be different, but do not involve foreigners in this process at all. Which European or South American country wants to see Africa dominate? 

Coach education for Africans should be by Africans for Africans. Until then, other confederations will use Africans as a punch bags and compete to see who can suck the most points from the naive black continent, and then go and compete at higher levels by themselves.

Africa goes to these tournaments to contribute points and goals for countries like Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, England, Chile and others.

Then they come back to us with an olive branch, actual, a helping hand as they offer courses and partnerships for free. Free??? Africa loves freebies. The intellectually challenged football politician 
smiles ear to ear thinking Germany, Netherlands, England and others came here to make us beat them. Woooow.

What is education supposed to do? Or does politics disregard use of brains?