Africa Should Aim High!

As the 22nd edition of the FIFA-organsised World Cup rumbles off in Qatar this Sunday November 20, 2022, bookmakers have already tipped some of the 32 participating countries as favourites and others as underdogs. Justifiably so based on the teams’ past performances in the planetary competition coupled with their positions on the FIFA classification table. 
Only this assessment alone can and may push the teams to begin their campaign with diverse objectives: Either just to go see or to go, see and conquer. It is but normal that even if all the 32 contestants were to have the same zeal of conquering the coveted crown, only one will hit the skies when the final whistle of all the 64 matches will be blown on December 18, 2022.  
Since speculations over which team is capable of doing what in Qatar keep mounting, very few are pundits who believe an African team can go any further. In fact, most if not all, of the continent’s five flagbearers have been written off and analysts see them as nothing better than gap-fillers who would only help to distribute goals and points to the competition’s favourites.   
Inasmuch as football remains round with each match played on a turf among supposedly 22 equal players; at least numerically, the continent has given prophets of doom every reason to smell hell for its representatives each time a competition of global magnitude is announced.
Why is it that Africa that has produced some of the best players in the world has never gone past the quarterfinals in the world cup? Rare moments when the continent got to such a level rather called for celebration. Why would a performance considered mediocre by some be seen as a feat by others in a supposedly equal-strength competition? Is it the calibre of players taken to the tourney to represent the continent, those coaching the teams or the frame of mind of the actors which seems to have been tailored towards the feeling that the golden world cup trophy is too big and too far for the reach of Africa? Whatever the answer, the bottom line is that Africa with all the plethora of fine talents who rub shoulders with the world’s best in different championships, has chosen the path of inferiority when it comes to the world cup. If not, why would an African team still feel proud reaching the round of eight (quarterfinals) more than 32 years since the continent’s first c...

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