The football World Cup cacophony has finally ebbed except in the streets of Paris where the world champions landed yesterday after a fairy tale ending to their campaign.
The euphoria that received France’s second-time win of the cup was tinged with some humour that left a stale taste in the mouth. The most common being that Africa had won the cup due to the French squad’s overwhelming presence of players of African origin.
That was Africa’s only consolation as teams from the continent were booted out in the early stages. But why lay claim to something that does neither belong to you nor participated under your flag? Many African players in the world cup ply their trade among the top flight European teams, the same as the French team. How come they failed to deliver?
Many acquired their skills in European football academies because Africa hardly has any academies to write home about, maybe except for some North African states. So, what seems to have bewitched African football?
The first is seeking to take credit where they have not sowed like the current attempt to hijack the French team’s success. Most African domestic football organisations are wrought with rot; they are incompetent, corrupt and much disorganized. Most football administrators are in it for personal gain, not for the love of the game.
Apart from Senegal, all other African teams had foreign managers, most whom were hired at short notice after the countries had qualified for the finals. Local coaches who had led their teams through all the qualifying stages are relegated to the back seats.
How is one expected to perform miracles with a team after just a couple of friendlies? When players’ allowances are meagre or not paid in time, if they are paid at all? African football administrators need to clean up house and save the rest of us from the embarrassment of claiming France’s win as our own.
No, France won. Africa had nothing to do with it; and Africa is not a country and everyone should learn to carry their own cross.