Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wither African Football

One of the big stories of World Cup qualifying was that of the five African countries that qualified for the finals in Germany, only one (Tunisia) had previously made it that far. That left such traditional powers as Nigeria and Cameroon (as well as 2002 upstart Senegal) on the outside looking in. A shift in the balance of power? Perhaps, but what they to make of the ongoing African Cup of Nations? With group play at an end, only two of the five World Cup teams, Tunisia and Ivory Coast, made it to the knock out phase. Nigeria and Cameroon were among those progressing at the expense of Ghana, Togo, and Angola. So is parity so prevalent in Africa that there really is that little difference between the teams? Or did World Cup qualifying come out horribly wrong? Given that the US plays Ghana in the group stage in Germany, I'm really interested to find out.

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