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Russia 2018 World Cup: How France Stood-In for Africa


All too soon, the 2018 FIFA World cup, dubbed Russia 2018, will on Sunday, July 15, 2018, come to a close, with soccer pundits currently biting their fingernails and making predictions about who, between the French and Croats, are likely to win the cup.

But whoever carries the day, THE PUBLISHER wishes to look at the tournament from a more ‘African perspective’, not as a consolation for the continent’s woeful performance in the tournament, but for identification and self-pride, which is not wrong.

Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco were ‘elected’ to represent the continent, and we all saw how things went badly for us.

However, looking at the army of men the French are parading in the tournament, one wonders if the much talked-about continental brain-drain to Europe is not in play here.

Of the 23-man squad that Coach Didier Deschamps sent to the global battlefield, fourteen of them are of African descent.

Here is the row-call:

1) Presnel Kimpembe – Congo

2) Samuel Umtiti – Cameroon

3) Paul Pogba- Guinea

4) Kylian Mbappé – Cameroon/Algeria

5) Ousmane Dembélé – Senegal/Mali

6) Corentin Tolisso – Togo

7) N’Golo Kanté – Mali

8) Blaise Matuidi – DR Congo/ Angola

9) Steven Nzonzi – DR Congo

10) Steve Mandanda – DR Congo

11) Adil Rami – Morocco

12) Nabil Fekir – Algeria

13) Djibril Sidibé – Senegal

14) Benjamin Mendy – Senegal

The essence of this piece is not to lament over the effects of brain-drain, but to tell the world that, should the French win on Sunday, Africa will have every cause to jubilate with them.

So far, pundits say France has the most talented squad in the world and THE PUBLISHER can’t agree with them any better.

France has a very workable group and the team is made up largely of Africans. Some say the team is strong from top to bottom and can be compared with any team ever presented at any World Cup of any FIFA-organized competition.

It is our hope and desire that France will win the 2018 World Cup; but in an unlikely situation where they are unable to, one thing is clear. Africa has a hand in how far they have come in this tournament.


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