As feared, The Teranga Lions of Senegal find it hard to hold off Colombia in their Group H clash on Thursday and was consequently thumped out of the 2018 Mundial in Russia, affirming the end of every one of the five African representatives in the World Cup.
Senegal’s elimination on fair play rules not only made World Cup history, it is likewise the first awful time since 1982 that an African team failed to reach the knock-out stage.
Thirty-six years prior such an awful outing by African representatives was viewed as less shocking. But In 2018, with the present flux of African stars in Eupore underlines what a disastrous Mundial this has been for Africa.
The failure of five countries to qualify to the second round activate instant retrospection, in some ways, it was far more atrocious than ESPANA 1982 World Cup when Cameroon drew with inevitable champions Italy and Algeria were denied only by the then notorious West Germany v Austria “Disgrace of Gijon” game.
In Russia, three African teams – Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – were automatically out of the competition before the third group games began, Nigeria suffered a late heartbreak against wounded Argentina and Senegal’s exit is ultimately to wind up as a World Cup trivia question for the ages.
Or on the other hand to put it all the more severe, Egypt went out without a fight; Tunisia in the same manner; Morocco played well but couldn’t score and Nigeria, same to Senegal, got choked when it mattered most.
Only three African teams have ever reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup – a Roger Milla- inspired Cameroon in 1990, Diouf -led Senegal in Korea/Japan 2002 and Ghana on African soil in 2010, who were denied reaching the semi-final stage by Asamoah Gyan awful penalty loss and a Luis Suarez handball.
The disappointment is astonishing as it comes when African teams is developing at World Cups and when fans have sat tight calmly for one team from the continent to correct their blemish on football’s biggest tournament.
With 54 countries, Africa has only a single less country than UEFA, European football’s governing body, but Europe has the lion’s offer of teams at the World Cup, 14 including host Russia.
The only World Cup light not too far off is that the number of African teams will increase from five to nine in 2026 as the competition expands from the regular 32 teams to 48..
The expanded 48-team World Cup set to be held in North America in eight years will see Africa getting nine spots, still far less than Europe’s 16 openings.
African countries used to point to the irregularity of match officials and imbalance as out of line and duly unfair for been segregated in football. But, this foul cries has been discreetly wiped out as results have failed to back calls for increased representation.
Africa’s performance in Russia 2018 World Cup so far looks far-fetched to change that circumstance.
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