Monthly Archives: January 2013

EMPTY STADIUMS; DULL FOOTBALL; THE STORY OF AFCON2013 THUS FAR

Empty seats at the AFCON 2013 Opening Ceremony at the National Stadium in Johannesburg  *** image courtesy of zimbio ***

Empty seats at the AFCON 2013 Opening Ceremony at the National Stadium in Johannesburg *** image courtesy of zimbio ***

The festive mood had reached its climax and the festival was bound to begin. Or so everyone thought.

The 2013 African Cup of Nations has started in a mixed, somewhat confused manner. As expected, the vuvuzelas can be heard blowing. The fans can be heard passionately cheering on their countries. And the stadiums are, two years after hosting the World Cup, still top notch.

However, the stands have been conspicuously empty. Predicted to be a sold out tournament, not all games have seen fans come out in the numbers that the voices portray. Indeed, the signs were there Read the rest of this entry

THE MYTH : AFRICAN FOOTBALL IS PROGRESSING

Children playing football on a dusty field in South Africa  *** image courtesy of zimbio ***

Children playing football on a dusty field in South Africa *** image courtesy of zimbio ***

Nothing sums up the perception of progress in African football more than the opening scene of The Newsroom, when Will McAvoy is forced to respond to the question “What makes America the greatest country in the World”. In that captivating opening episode, McAvoy turns, looks around, tries to evade the question, sees the answer in the crowd, ignores it as a hallucination, turns again, fails to evade the question, sees the answer again in the crowd, ignores it but ultimately answers, “It’s not the greatest country in the world, … but it can be” 

Certainly, the speech he then goes on to give in between the words ‘world,’ and ‘but it can be’ sets the tone for the illusionary belief that exists in the question he had just been asked. In the same light, a Jonathan Wilson article in The Guardian almost a year ago titled “The Question; Is African Football Progressing?” borders on the same levels of intellectual frustration in belief of the constant myth of African football’s ever progressing nature. Read the rest of this entry

LAST CHANCE GALORE FOR IVORY COAST

Cote d'Ivoire captain Didier Drogba celebrating after scoring a goal in a friendly international in 2009  *image courtesy of zimbio ***

Cote d’Ivoire captain Didier Drogba celebrating after scoring a goal in a friendly international in 2009 *image courtesy of zimbio ***

 

[For full African Cup of Nations 2013 Previews, visit sandalsforgoalposts.com and superfoota.com]

Beyond the emotive journey that was Zambia at the 2012 African Cup of Nations that set them apart as worthy winners, a hidden truth remained masked.

Cote d’Ivoire was the best team at last year’s showpiece African continental tournament.

It is they who, alongside Zambia, scored the most goals (9). They also, astonishingly, conceded no goal at all. They had the best individuals; then African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure; his brother and club teammate Kolo Toure; Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou; fellow Premier League stars Cheik Tiote and Gervinho; as well as former Premier League stars Emmanuel Eboue and Didier Zokora. In Jean Jacques Gosso and Max Gradel, they also unleashed new players who were making a name for themselves in the French Ligue 1.

Certainly, from a technical as well as tactical point of view, the Ivorians were superior. In a tournament which notoriously Read the rest of this entry

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