August 1, 2021

the tops and flops of African selections in 2020-2021

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Riyad Mahrez, midfielder at Manchester United, also plays in the Algerian national team of the Fennecs, which have just been selected for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (CAN).

There is still one last effort to be made for seven African selections (Libya, Mauritania, Comoros, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, Djibouti), during play-offs of the Arab Cup of the International Football Federation (FIFA ) which will take place between June 19 and 25. But the other national teams are done with the international matches, which will resume in September. Several of them have shone, and not always the most famous. Others have failed, despite their obvious standing.


It is not rare that after having conquered a title, a selection knows a decline of mode. Algeria, African champion in July 2019, does not fall into this category. She even seems to be even stronger than two years ago. The Fennecs ended their season with a victory (2-0) over Tunisia in a friendly match on June 11. A success which brought their invincibility to twenty-seven matches, a new African record.

Djamel Belmadi’s players fulfilled their mission by qualifying for CAN 2022 in Cameroon. The Algerians, who have a good squad from which emerges Riyad Mahrez, a world-class player, play well, put on a show, and their coach, untouchable in the eyes of public opinion, is praised for the quality of his sound. job. His next goal? Qualify Algeria for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Ivory Coast

Ivorian football is going through a serious governance crisis, its clubs are suffering economically, but the national team, thanks to its results, mitigates this gloomy picture. The Elephants obtained their qualification for CAN 2022, with a perfect end of the course (ten points in four matches), and ended their season with two good results in friendly matches, against Burkina Faso (2-1) and Ghana (0-0).

The team, led by French Patrice Beaumelle, seems capable of playing a major role in Cameroon in January 2022. The coach insists on the quality of play and collective discipline, and the results are there. He also managed to convince Sébastien Haller, Ajax Amsterdam striker (Netherlands) and former French international hopeful, to move to his mother’s country of origin.

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While its neighbors Seychelles and Mauritius are in total anonymity and Madagascar is going through a sporting and institutional crisis, the Comoros have taken the leadership of the Indian Ocean selections, qualifying for CAN 2022. A historic first for this penniless archipelago whose selection only joined FIFA in 2005.

During the last four days of qualifying, the Cœlacanths took the points necessary to accomplish this feat, against Kenya (1-1, 2-1) and Togo (0-0). The Franco-Comorian coach Amir Abdou, who works miracles despite very modest financial means and a workforce that does not include any reputable player – many even play in amateur championships – has become a national hero. Deprived of the last qualifying rounds for the World Cup, the islanders will have four months to properly prepare for their meeting with history in Cameroon.

South Africa

You can have the best structured championship in Africa, the richest clubs, the most modern stadiums, competitive clubs on the continental scene, and be represented by any national selection. This paradox, South Africa cultivates it with a certain constancy, even if it happens from time to time to the Bafana Bafana to raise their heads, as in 2019 with a quarter-final of the CAN. Since then, South Africans have fallen back into anonymity by being eliminated by Sudan on their way to Cameroon.

The local federation asked Molefi Ntseki to make his boxes, and replaced him by the experienced Belgian Hugo Broos, winner of the CAN 2017 with Cameroon. But the Flemish, who began his mandate with a victory against Uganda in a friendly match on June 10 (3-2) has already warned his audience by recalling that “The priority is to qualify for CAN 2023, in Côte d’Ivoire. The 2022 World Cup is not the main objective ”. South African supporters, deprived of the World Cup since 2010, have learned to be patient …

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Two years ago, Madagascar amazed the Egyptian public and enchanted Africa, thanks to its freshness, its attacking game and its band of players scattered around the world and led by Nicolas Dupuis, an almost unknown French coach. in his country. But Malagasy football has fallen back into its pitfalls. Les Baréas failed to qualify for CAN 2022, and the situation suddenly deteriorated.

Raoul Rabekoto, the president of the federation, accused by the Malagasy justice of having embezzled millions of euros when he headed the National Provident Fund (CNaPS), is on the run in Europe and wanted by Interpol, but he still leads the instance of an iron fist. He proved it by suspending Dupuis, against the advice of some of the members of his Executive Committee, and while the Frenchman is supported by Andy Rajoelina, the head of state. Then by naming to everyone’s surprise the Franco-Malagasy Eric Rabesandratana, a former Paris-SG player, consultant to France Bleu, and whose only coaching experience comes down to an assistant role in a Ligue 2 club American.

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Democratic Republic of Congo

Claude Le Roy, twice coach of the Leopards (2004-2006 and 2011-2013), used to say that the DRC “Has incredible potential, and that she could one day win the World Cup”. For the moment, it is far from it, since it did not even manage to qualify for the CAN 2022. A failure which cost its place to the coach Christian Biembe Nsengi, replaced by the Argentinian Hector Cuper, former coach of Inter Milan and Egypt, and who will receive in Kinshasa the highest salary of a Leopards coach (50,000 euros per month).

The South American began his mission with a loss to Tunisia (0-1) and a draw against Mali (1-1). But, for him, the most important thing is to come with the roadmap established by the Congolese Football Federation (Fecofa) and the sports ministry: to qualify his team for the 2022 World Cup, a competition for which the DRC does not ‘has been more qualified since… 1974.