Africa’s Dream Dashed by African Diaspora
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Africa’s Dream Dashed by African Diaspora

By Abongwa Fozo

Morocco and Africa's dream of winning a FIFA World Cup (FWC) was cut short on Wednesday 14, December when a French team made up mostly of players with African roots woke them up from sleep, with a 2-0 reminder that for an African team to win the FWC, they may have to switch their mentality and nationality.

This was the furthest any African side had ever journeyed into the competition, when Morocco defied odds to eliminate Spain and Portugal in the eight and quarter finals. But the French, the defending champions were not in for any more surprises after Tunisia had surprisingly beat them 1-0 in the group stages.

The omen were not good for the Atlas Lions. Not having conceded a goal, excerpt for an own goal against Canada, Morocco found themselves down just after five minutes of play. Theo Hernandez's goal was the worst possible start for Morocco. Second half substitute Randal Kolo Muani helped dashed the Moroccan dream with a second late on despite Morocco dominating play and missing out a couple of chances.

Morocco will have another opportunity to make history in the playoff match to determine the third position while France and Kylian Mbappe and Argentina and Lionel Messi the defending champions and the 1986 winner will clash in the final on Sunday.

For Africa, Morocco's ride in Qatar 2022 has raised the bar of expectation for African teams. All five team in this World Cup were coached by nationals, and all five teams succeeded to win at least a match. This could hence be the path forward for us and when FWC 2026 in Canada, USA and Mexico comes, Africa's representation will climb from five to at least nine teams. Then the semi-finals will no longer be our limit, but a benchmark to beat.

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