Monday December 4, 2017
The continent’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it will give each of the five World Cup bound teams $500,000 to help in their preparations for the tournament in Russia next year.CAF in November constituted an ad hoc committee led by its first vice-president Kwesi Nyantakyi to map out what support it could give to Africa’s representatives at the global football showpiece.
A CAF statement read in part: “it was decided that CAF will grant a financial subsidy of $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand dollars) to each of the five African teams. The financial package will be used mainly to strengthen and improve the technical supervision of each team.
“In addition, CAF will provide each African representative with “fieldwiz” equipment, a technological device and physical performance measuring tool for outdoor team sports players.”
CAF will provide each African representative with “fieldwiz” equipment, a technological device and physical performance measuring tool for outdoor team sports players.
“The committee, which has CAF Executive Committee member Kalusha Bwalya and presidents of the Football Associations of the five qualified countries as members, met in Moscow, Russia, on the sidelines of the draw for the FIFA World Cup scheduled for 1 December 2017,” the CAF statement added.
AFRICA’S REPRESENTATIVES AND THEIR WC ‘RECORD’
1. EGYPT – The Pharaohs are making their first world finals appearance since Italy 1990
2. MOROCCO – The Atlas Lions topped African zone Group C in qualification
3. NIGERIA – The Super Eagles have only missed one tournament since their debut at USA 1994
4. SENEGAL – In their debut at Korea/Japan 2002, the Lions of Teranga reached the quarter-finals
5. TUNISIA – At Argentina 1978, the Carthage Eagles became the first African team to win a World Cup match
WHICH GROUPS DO THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN
Russia – Saudi Arabia – Egypt – Uruguay
Portugal – Spain – Morocco – Iran
Argentina – Iceland – Croatia – Nigeria
Belgium – Panama – Tunisia – England
Poland – Senegal – Colombia – Japan
ANALYSIS OF THEIR CHANCES
It turns out that from the final draw, Morocco and Nigeria will not have it easy in their respective groups as they face top footballing sides.
Nigeria will be facing former World Champions, Argentina. The Super Eagles recently beat them by 4 – 2 in a friendly. Aside Argentina, they will face Croatia and Iceland in Group D.
Over in Group B, Morocco for their part will face current European champions Portugal and former World Champions Spain as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Tunisia will have work to do as they come up against Belgium, England and Panama in Group G.
Egypt in Group A will put aside all diplomatic engagements when they come up against Saudi Arabia in the group stages. They will also have to deal with the home fans when they face hosts Russia. The other team in the group being Uruguay.
In Group H, Senegal seems to have a quiet group as well. They will face Poland, Colombia and Japan as Sadio Mane and his charges look to do better than the Teranga Lions’ last outing.