African soccer lacks class on big stage

2011-10-22 17:33

It is worrying to discover that lately the African continent’s soccer standards show a shocking decline.

This is if the recent outcomes of the Africa Cup Of Nations (Afcon) qualifying countries are anything to go by.

Counting from the latest continental ratings, who can safely say there is a bit of improvement compared to the previous ratings.

It is equally shocking to discover that only a few of Confederation of African Football (CAF) top 10 countries have managed to qualify for the Afcon finals to be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next year.

Countries that have failed include Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa.

This decline in standards should be a matter of great concern to everyone on the continent, especially the patrons and custodians who are bestowed with the responsibility to ensure that football administration is a success.

As football fanatics and followers on the continent, we also aspire to see the Afcon rise to where it becomes one of the best and highly rated, organised continental soccer showpieces in the world.

This would see this contest compete with other football confederations in the world such as the Union of European Football Associations and others around the globe.

It can only get better and much bigger if every stakeholder in football comes on board and plays a meaningful role without being coerced into doing things.

Looking at the domestic federation – Safa – it is disappointing to learn of various blunders that the organisation continues to commit which contribute to the decline of standards in domestic football.

For heaven’s sake, how do you fail to interpret and understand the rules of the game when the whole nation has entrusted you with the huge responsibility of guiding it, as far as football is concerned.

It is high time that the whole country stood up against these childish blunders and flaws.

The latest events should serve as a wake-up call to all those ‘big countries’ that did not qualify for this prime continental showpiece to review their plans and systems so they can get good results.

The entire continent cannot afford to remain mediocre because of poor, lack of vision and indecisive leadership in football.

Until such time as we see ourselves as original and unique in our approach to continental football, we will never stop viewing foreign soccer leagues as the best.

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