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History made as five home-grown coaches lead Africa to World Cup

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For the first time in the history of Africa’s participation in the World Cup, the continent’s five representatives to the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be managed by home-grown coaches.

Before now, African teams going into any World Cup tournaments relied on foreign coaches who ended up not achieving much with the teams.

But this year’s World Cup which kicks off on Sunday, November 20, will see Ghana, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, and Cameroon all parading coaches from their countries which is a great development for the game on the continent.

Ahead of the official kick off of the tournament, africannewswatch takes a look at the five men who will be calling the shots from the dugout.

Otto Addo – Ghana

The Black Stars coach is a former Ghana international midfielder who was a member of Ghana’s team at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Ghanaian coach, Otto Addo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Ghanaian coach, Otto Addo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Born in Germany, 47-year-old Addo was a surprised pick to take over as coach of the national team following their uninspiring performances at the 2021 African Nations Cup where they were knocked out in the group stages, especially a loss to lowly rates Comoros.

The former Borussia Dortmund youth coach inherited a demoralised and a dispirited squad but got down to work immediately.

His efforts paid off as he led the Black Stars to pip the Super Eagles of Nigeria to the World Cup ticket on away goals rule.

He has quietly turned the squad around and has been pivotal in convincing some Ghanaian-born players like Tariq Lamptey and Inaki Williams to switch allegiance and play for the West African country.

Jalel Kadri – Tunisia

Tunisia’s head coach Jalel Kadri’s was given a lesson of what to expect when they faced record five-time world champions Brazil in a warm up match where they were pummeled 5-1.

But the 50-year-old Kadri seemed to take it in his stride and said it was a good preparation for the team as they set to take on France, Denmark and Australia in their group.

Kadri has been in charge of Carthage Eagles since March after being promoted from an assistant role when Mondher Kebaier was sacked following an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals loss to Burkina Faso.

He has been a coach for more than 20 years, coaching clubs in Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, and though this is his first national team job, Kadri believes he has what it takes to guide the Tunisian team to great things at the Mundial.

Aliou Cisse – Senegal

Senegal’s head coach Aliou Cisse, is an ex-international who was in the Teranga Lion’s team that reached the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in South Korea in its very first tournament.

He was also part of the coaching crew at the Russia 2018 World Cup where Senegal was knocked out in an agonising fashion, losing out on a second-round place only because they accumulated more yellow cards than Japan.

Aliou Cisse is going to the World Cup as African champions (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Aliou Cisse is going to the World Cup as African champions (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

After losing as a player in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations final, the 46-year-old Cisse made amends by guiding his country to victory at the 2021 Afcon in Cameroon with a penalty shootout victory over Egypt.

Walid Regragui – Morocco

Moroccan manager, Walid Regragui, has had little time to prepare the Atlas Lions having replaced Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic only in August.

But the French-born former right-back who switched allegiance to Morocco after playing for France at the junior levels, was capped 45 times by the Atlas Lions.

Regragui began his coaching career in 2012 and coached clubs like Wydad Casablanca whom he led to victory over Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final early this year.

He has also coached in Qatar and has been part of the Moroccan national team as an assistant coach before taking over after Halilhodzic was fired.

Rigobert Song – Cameroon

Cameroon’s coach Rigobert Song, 46, can be described as one of Cameroon’s football legend Cameroon’s played at four World Cups and helped the Indomitable Lions win the Africa Cup of Nations twice in eight tournament appearances.

A rugged centre-back during his playing days, Song had stints with clubs in France, Italy, England, Germany and Turkey.

Though considered a rookie coach, Song was named Cameroon’s coach by his former team mate, Samuel Etoo who is the president of the Cameroonian FA following the sack of Portuguese Toni Conceicao after a third-place finish as 2021 Cup of Nations hosts.

Cameroonian coach Rigobert Song is under pressure to perform (Photo Credit: CFA)

Cameroonian coach Rigobert Song is under pressure to perform (Photo Credit: CFA)

Song masterminded a shock World Cup play-off win by triumphing over Algeria but friendly losses to Uzbekistan and fellow qualifiers South Korea have not lifted hopes of the soccer loving fans back home.

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Cameroonian FA boss, Samuel Eto’o apologises for attacking Algerian cameraman during World Cup

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Football legend and current President of the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT), Samuel Eto’o, has apologised for violently attacking an Algerian cameraman and Youtuber influencer outside a stadium at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

A video of the assault had gone viral on Tuesday where the former Real Madrid and Barcelona star was seen hitting the cameraman in the face after he had requested for an interview with the Cameroonian football boss shortly after Brazil’s 4-1 victory over South Korea in a second round match which was played on Monday.

However, following serious backlash and condemnation from football fans and officials, the former forward took to his official Twitter page to tender an apology.

“On last 5 December, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter,” Eto’o wrote.

“I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise to the public for this unfortunate incident.

“I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters. Indeed, since the Cameroon-Algeria match on 29 March in Blida, I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence.

“During this World Cup, Cameroonian fans have been harassed and pestered by Algerians on the same subject. I would like to mention that the scenario of Algeria’s defeat was cruel but perfectly in line with the rules and ethics of our sport.

“All the appeals made by the Algerian Football Federation to the competent jurisdictions have been rejected. I, therefore, call on the Algerian authorities and Federation to take responsibility to put an end to this unhealthy climate before a more serious tragedy occurs,” he added.

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Qatar 2022: Morocco make history with World Cup win over Spain

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The Atlas Lions of Morocco gave Africa a quarterfinals berth at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday.

The two teams played out a 0-0 draw at full and extra time and had to be separated by the luci of penalties.

Moroccan goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, was the hero of the match by saving two of Spain’s penalty kicks from Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets while Pablo Sarabia hit the post with the Spanish first kick.

The North Africans who have been the biggest surprise of the tournament, will next face either Portugal or Switzerland.

Morocco, the last African side left in World Cup 2022 went against all bookmakers prediction by beating the star studded Spain team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in their history.

Though Luis Enrique’s side had almost 70 percent of the ball in the first 45 minutes, the Africans were not deterred as they held firm and stuck to their game plans which frustrated the talented Spanish team.

Morocco is also the only team from outside Europe or South America at the Qatar World Cup to make it to the last eight.

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