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Is Africa at Qatar World Cup to complete numbers? Here’s how we score the teams



The five African teams that qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar knew their opponents on Friday when the draws were held at the Doha Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Prior to the draw, reigning African champions, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon and Ghana, were pooled in Groups A, F, D, G and H, with fans of each team praying for favourable pairings.

But in the draws proper, different interesting scenarios played out as Ghana was given the opportunity to exact a revenge on Uruguay for the heartbreak they suffered in the 2010 edition when a Luiz Suarez’s last minute handball deprived them from advancing into the semifinals.

But how will the African teams fare at the World Cup after getting to know their opponents?


AFCON 2021 winners, Senegal, presents Africa’s most realistic chance of getting farther in the Qatar 2022 World Cup after being drawn against host Qatar, the Netherlands, and Ecuador.

Undoubtedly Africa’s best side at the World Cup, Senegal has got a favourable draw and with the likes of Liverpool striker Saido Mane, Chelsea goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, and Napoli defence lynchpin, Kalillou Coulibaly, marshalling the defence, they will fancy their chances of ruffling some feathers.

Their toughest opponents in the group will undoubtedly be Netherlands but Aliou Cisse’s troops have what it takes to hold their own.


The Indomitable Lions defied the odds when they went to Blida to take on Algeria with a one goal deficit, only to shock their hosts with a dramatic 2-1 win to pick the World Cup ticket.

With the Lions drawn with five times World Cup winners, Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia, they face unarguably the toughest chance of making it out of Group C.

However, the Rigobert Song tutored Lions do have a mental toughness that could see them navigate through the tough first round and with their rugged style of play, all fingers will be crossed.


The Carthage Eagles will have to contend with world champions, France and Denmark, while keeping an eye on one of Peru, Australia or the United Arab Emirates to join the group after their different playoffs.

Drawn against the defending World champions and European Championship semi-finalists, Tunisia have their work cut out for them and will feel disillusioned even before a ball is kicked at the Mundial.


Ghana’s reward for beating the Super Eagles of Nigeria is a rematch with Uruguay, a team that denied them a semifinal ticket in 2010 in South Africa.

The hurriedly assembled Black Stars, though not spectacular, managed to brush aside a disjointed and lackluster Nigerian team to qualify for the World Cup but do they have what it takes to go against a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea, complete with Tottenham Hotspur’s talisman, Song Heung-min?

Does this Ghanaian team have the quality to go better than its predecessors?

Only time will tell.


The Atlas Lions have their work cut out for them having been drawn against Belgium who were semi-finalists in Russia in 2018 and runners up, Croatia, and will have to rely on the brilliance of their star player, Achraf Hakimi, to see them through.

Both Belgium, with their now fading golden generation, and Croatia, are not as good as they were four years ago, so Morocco can dream of getting out of the group, in the very least.

But with a Canadian side that qualified with three games to spare also in the mix, sheer will power and tactical discipline will be all the North Africans need to trudge on.


FIFA honours Osimhen after amazing season with Napoli



Following his record-breaking season with Napoli where he scored 26 goals to win the Serie A top scorer award, Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen has been honoured by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

The world football governing body Tuesday presented Osimhen with a customized jersey and soccer ball for his “superb displays for Napoli in the 2022/23 season,” which led to Napoli winning the Scudetto after a 33-year wait, according to an official of FIFA, Gelson Fernandes, in a “special message” to the 24-year-old Nigerian forward.

“Victor Osimhen, you represent at the moment what football can do,” Fernandes wrote in an Instagram post.

“From Lagos to Napoli where people love you, you have suffered, but your love for football and determination have guided you.

“Keep going, keep pushing. Africa needs examples and millions are watching and dreaming.”

Osimhen became the first African to win the highest goal scorer award, while also becoming the first player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic to win both the Capocannoniere and the Scudetto in the same season, a record which has stood for 14 long years.

His horde of honours was also enhanced with a National Award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic bestowed on him by former Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

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Tunisian tennis star, Ons Jabeur zooms into French Open quarter-finals



Tunisian tennis sensation, Ons Jabeur took a step further in her quest to win the 2023 French Open Grand Slam when she defeated World number 36, Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1 to zoom into the quarter-finals.

Jabeur, ranked number 7 in the world, and who only won her first WTA 1000 title at the Madrid Open last year, has since then been facing a downward slide coupled with injuries which saw her either missing out on some tournaments or crashing out in early rounds.

However, the 28-year-old who became the first ever African woman to reach a Grand Slam final last year, was at her best when she defeated Pera to move to the next stage on Monday night.

Though Jabeur was not at her fluent best and was herself broken three times in the first set and at the start of the second set, she still raced through the final six games, sealing victory in 63 minutes.

“I never thought about something was missing or I didn’t reach all four of them,” the African said after the match.

“Maybe it’s a good thing. It came and hopefully, we’ll set it to all semi-finals and then all finals,” she added.

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