FWC 2022: Could This Be Africa’s Turn?
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FWC 2022: Could This Be Africa’s Turn?

By Abongwa Fozo

Could 2022 finally be the year Pele's prophesy that an African team will win the world cup come true? For FWC 2022 has some odd coincides that may just be indicating so. First this is the 22 edition of the global showpiece, the first time two African teams made it out out of the group stages, the first time teams from Africa beat former world champions in the same competition (Tunisia 1-0 France, Cameroon 1-0 Brazil, Morocco 0-0 Spain - 3-1 on pen), the first time Pele's Brazil lost to an African side (Cameroon) in a FWC game, and strangely enough, the first time the World Cup is hosted by an Arab country, a tiny one for that, and if not a first time timer World Cup, its the first time we are playing the World Cup in November and December, the first of this decade.

And so we continue, for the first time in the 92 years of FIFA World Cup History, an African Nation will be playing in the semi-final of the tournament. The Atlas Lions of Morocco become the first African nation to sail through to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup when they confidently and smartly dispatched the fancied Portuguese in the last eight of the competition.

En-Nesyri well defended 43nd  minute goal at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha was all that the North Africans needed to claim not only a historic win against the European giants, but triumphantly matched them on a date with the current world cup holder France on Wednesday.

The Moroccans path to the last four has been at the backdrop of some great offsets. First they humbled Belgium 2-0 in the group phase to spark off riots in Brussels, then they make useless the Spanish flair to show them the way out from the penalty box before completely killing Christiano Ronaldo’s dream of a lifting the coveted trophy with a 1-0 victory in the quarter final.

Team Morroco

Surprisingly enough, no team is yet to score against the Africans, an indication of  Coach Walid Regragui’s tactical shrewdness, a product of a new breed of African trained coaches from a CAF specialized training program alongside side the likes of Benny McCarthy of South Africa and Manchester United.

The Moroccans also hold the best African record in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup, qualifying for the knockout stages without losing a match.

Morocco’s exploit has surpassed  Cameroon’s 32 years  mark of the quarter finals reached in 1990 during the peak of the legendary Roger Mila and Senegal and Ghana that also marched the achievement in 2002 and 2010 respectively.

Standing on their path to the penultimate glory, a FIFA World Cup Final is the defending champions France. They take on the French in a match where an alien will instead think they are the European playing against an African side. The French despite leaving behind N'golo Kante and Paul Pogba, still boast of several players of African descent in their ranks like Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Aurelin Tchouameni, Jules Kounde, Ferland Mendy, Youssouf Fofana just to name these few.

If Morocco crosses this threshold, this may be the key to the puzzle for African sides, a strong believe that they can win the World Cup. Morocco’s meteoric path in the FWC 2022 has been built on nothing less than a strong belief, a belief in their ability and a strong bond amongst the players that its within their reach. This belief could be all that it takes for Africa to reach and touch the summit of World football.

Go Morocco, Africa is solidly behind you.