Africa – No chance

Former French international Marcel Desailly can’t see any African country winning the 2010 World Cup even when it’s being staged on the continent.

Lotto Cup Results

Rayon 4-0     Mukura

APR    0-0     Atraco

(5-4 penalties)

Third place play-off   

Atraco           4-0     Mukura


APR    1-1     Rayon

(10-9 penalties)

Former French international Marcel Desailly can’t see any African country winning the 2010 World Cup even when it’s being staged on the continent.

The ex-Chelsea centre-back who along with fellow former French internationals, Christian Karembeu and Basil Boli is currently in the country on the invitation of Lotto Rwanda  and the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

Desailly made the remarks on Saturday at Amahoro stadium before the kick off of the Lotto Cup second semifinal clash between rivals APR and Atraco Fc.

Responding to a question by one local radio journalist whether an African country can win the 2010 World Cup which will be held in South Africa, in an accented English, the former AC Milan star said, “….hmmm….no. I don’t see that happening.”

“Reason being, we (referring to Africans, himself inclusive) in Africa tend not to keep our players together and nature then into big time winners,’ he noted.  

No African country has won the world cup and the jinx is highly likely to continue even with the tournament being on the African continent for the very first time.

Cameroon (Italy 1990) and Senegal (Japan/South Korea 2002) are the only African countries to have reached as far as the quarterfinal.

Desailly, born in Accra, Ghana as Odenke Abbey, was an integral member of the French national football team, with whom he won the 1998 Fifa World Cup at home soil and Euro 2000 in Holland.  

He also enjoyed a distinguished career at club level with several European elite clubs like Nantes, Olympique Marseille, AC Milan and Chelsea before a career ending short spell in the Gulf with Al-Gharafa and SC Qatar respectively before hanging his boots a year ago.

Having tasted World Cup success, the 39-year old knows what it takes to win football’s most prestigious showpiece and he joins other football commentators around the world who doubt chances of an African country winning the World Cup.

Desailly is a Goodwill Ambassador promoting the UN Millennium Development Goal to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

Surprised and in love with Rwanda 

The world cup winner, nicknames the “Rock” for his rock-solid defending abilities during his playing times, revealed how he was caught hands down with what he found in Rwanda.

Because Rwanda can be easily identified with the word genocide, poverty, illiteracy among several foreigners, Desailly was no exception and he came here expecting to find poverty-stricken locals loitering around the streets of Kigali.

But, hold your breath, he admitted, “Rwanda is such a beautiful country, full of good and loving people.

Actually, I’m surprised with what I have seen in this country.” “Happy people everywhere, clean city, good roads, educated people, it’s just beautiful,” he acknowledged before disclosing his desire to return to the country in the near future. He said, “I love this place and I shall have to come back here and see how I can help in developing football among the youth. I have many projects I run related football development.”

Stars feature for local clubs

It was all drama yesterday at Amahoro National Stadium when the visiting former French international stars featured for the local club during the third place play-off match of this Lotto Cup.

Former Real Madrid star Christian Karembeu featured for Atraco while Basil Boli featured for Huye based Mukura Victory Club.

Atraco walloped Mukura 4-0 to claim the third place.

In the final, military side APR Fc continued their impressive local form by overcoming a zealous Rayon Sport 10-9 in spot kicks after 1-1 draw in normal time to claim this year’s Lotto Cup.


Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper

For news tips and story ideas please WhatsApp +250 788 310 999    


Follow The New Times on Google News