A crowded house: Why the continental championships and World Cup should be aligned

LET’S be frank, qualifying tournaments have become tedious – bloated and repetitive, full of over familiarity, largely predictable (don’t say that in Amsterdam this summer) and too much cannon fodder. Sometimes, you forget if you’re watching a European Championship or a World Cup qualifier. So here’s an idea. Why not use the continental tournaments as […]

Emenike can lead Nigeria to victory in Jo’burg

The African Cup of Nations reaches a climax this weekend with the final on Sunday between Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The competition has a habit of producing shocks, and this year’s favourities, Ivory Coast and Ghana, fell at the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. Not many people expected either side to reach the final, especially the […]

Last chance for Ivory Coast’s “Golden Generation”

For the fifth consecutive African Cup of Nations (ACN), Ivory Coast have been tagged as favourites. It is a mantle they have not worn that well, for since 2006, they have failed to live up to expectations, despite going close on two occasions. Despite having arguably the best team outside of Europe and Latin America […]

Pele was way off the mark, but we can still enjoy the African Cup of Nations….

When Pele said an African nation would win the World Cup before the end of the [20th] century, he was probably puffing on something exotic. The Africans made the breakthrough into the World Cup, and have provided a few thrills – Cameroon, Nigeria et al – but they are unlikely to ever come out on […]