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Qatar 2022: What are the chances of African teams at the World Cup?

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup holding in Qatar is only six days away which will see the world literally shut down for a month as the greatest sporting event in the world moves to the Arab world for the first time.

The 32 nations that have qualified for the Mundial from all continents of the world will fight for football’s greatest prize for a period of 29 days, starting on the 20th of November through the 18th of December, 2022.

As usual, pundits have tipped world football powerhouses like Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain, Germany and Portugal as front runners to lift the cup, while the five African countries that will fly the continent’s flag do not stand a chance to even make it out of their groups.

Like in past World Cup tournaments, African teams are the underdogs and it will take the most ardent pundit to give any of the five teams any chance of nicking the trophy on December 18.

In fact, no one is tipping any African team to go get into the quarter finals of the World Cup and this is quite understandable as the football on the continent is way behind what is obtained in Europe, South America and even in Asia.

The Senegalese National team (Photo Credit: SFA)

The Senegalese National team (Photo Credit: SFA)

In the history of the World Cup, the farthest an African team has gone has been the quarter final and the permutations for this year’s tournament is not different either.

As the world gets set to witness the first World Cup to be held in November, the five countries representing African teams, Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia and Cameroon, will look to change bleak prediction by putting up a show to defy the pundits.

But will the fortunes of the continent change? Africannewswatch takes a look at the chances of the African teams going into the world cup.

Senegal

Before a devastating injury to talismanic striker, Sadio Mane, Senegal was seen as the African team with the best chance of progressing beyond the group stage.

But the outlook is now bleak for the current Afcon champions as Mane is not just one player on the pitch but also a motivator but also a rallying point for the players and the team.

With Mane in the team, Senegal plays one of the most attractive football and their squad depth also tell well for the Coach Aliou Cisse’s team.

But be that as it may, Senegal still looks like the team that can easily get out of their group if they can navigate their way past the Netherlands. The other teams in the group, tournament host Qatar and Ecuador look beatable and Senegal will do themselves a world of good if they can take their chances.

Ghana

The Black Stars of Ghana would have made history as the first African team to reach the semi finals of a World Cup tournament in 2010 in South Africa when but a combination of Uruguay’s Luiz Suarez goal line handball and an Asamoah Gyan’s missed penalty contrived to deny the West African country that joy.

The Black Stars of Ghana (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Black Stars of Ghana (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

After taking out perennial foes, Nigeria in the last qualifying round, Ghana has been in disarray with players losing form, and losing predatory matches to Brazil (3-0) and Japan (4-1).

Their only win was a scrappy 1-0 win against Nicaragua, a country placed a lowly 142 on the FIFA rankings. Their form has also not been the best in recent times, leading to President Nana Akufo-Addo calling for prayers and fasting for the team to do well in Qatar.

The chances of Ghana making it out of a group that has Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea looks rather bleak despite having some of the best pairs of legs on the continent in the likes of Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus and Bilbao’s Inaki Williams.

Morocco

Morocco has always been one of the most exciting teams on the continent with their European style of football but they gave not been able to replicate same at the world stage.

The North African team qualified for the World Cup fairly easily and in their preparatory matches, saw off Chile 2-0 before being held to 0-0 draw by Paraguay which is a good sign.

The Atlas Lions of Morocco (Photo Credit: FIFA)

The Atlas Lions of Morocco (Photo Credit: FIFA)

But the Coach Wadri Regrarui tortured side will have their hands full at the Mundial proper after being drawn in the same group as Belgium, Croatia and Canada.

Bookmakers have tipped Morocco are favourites to beat Canada but the tougher test will come when they come up against Belgium and Croatia.

Tunisia

Tunisia is another North African team that has modelled its football after the European style but were brought crashing down when they faced Brazil in a friendly match and were soundly thrashed 5-1 to Brazil in their last friendly game before the World Cup.

But before then, the Coach Jalal Qaderi side had gone unbeaten in seven matches but paired against another tournament favourite, France, Denmark and Australia, it is left to be seen if Tunisia can come out of the group. But there is a possibility of Tunisia getting out of the group.

The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia (Photo Credit: TFA)

The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia (Photo Credit: TFA)

Cameroon

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have had a mixed bag in previous World Cup tournaments by pulling out a famous victory over Argentina at the 1990 edition held in Italy, but since then, have been one of the “also run” in subsequent editions.

They managed to qualify following a last ditch goal in the 124th-minute by Toko Ekambi in the playoff to pip Algeria on away goals.

But this World Cup tournament is coming at a bad time for Cameroon who has struggled to get their acts together in friendly matches towards the World Cup.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

With an inexperienced coach in former defender Rigobert Song, the team lost its final two preparatory friendly games to South Korea and Uzbekistan without scoring a goal in either fixture.

Grouped in the same pool with favourite Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland, it will take a miracle for the Lions to get out of this group with its inability to play quality and progressive football.

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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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