My Friday prediction for the Fifa U-20 World Cup came true. Although the match was not as exciting as i would have wanted it to be, nonetheless it marked an onset of successes that awaits Africa.
Africa has become big on Fifa’s agenda thanks to current president Joseph Sepp Blatter. He is the man responsible for bringing the World Cup to Africa and the only president to have advocated Africa’s cause with great passion. Next on the List the Fifa U-17 World Cup.
This tournament is being hosted by Nigeria and it is slated to to take place in November. Another African victory in this event and the pressure will be on the continent’s representatives to replicate these successes come June next year. One major talking point however, has been on the number of African countries participating in the World Cup.
Many people (Africans in particular) have consistently argued that 5 participating countries is too few a number to showcase the abundance of talent in the continent and i agree. Here in Africa we have at least 8 strong footballing nations namely: Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Angola and South Africa.
With only five of these countries making it through to the finals every four years,Africa is missing out on the biggest platform to compete against the best of the rest. Mr. Blatter however insists that in the future the number of African participants will increase. Doing this will mean making tough choices to streamline other qualifying regions but which will ultimately make the tournament more competitive.
In the meantime, Nigeria 2009 beckons to the stars of years to come. Ghana have started Africa on a positive note and now all that remains is for both the U-17 and World Cup trophies to stay put.