1. Galactic Guardians
JI remember the 80s when the fairly widespread belief that the position of goalkeeper was not made for players of African origin. Taken for granted by many football enthusiasts, this conviction drew its source from the observation of the almost total absence of colored goalkeepers in the European championships. The origin of this prejudice has a history, that of the unjust disgrace of Moacir Barbosa Nascimento, the goalkeeper of the Brazil team at the 1950 World Cup. His title of best goalkeeper of the competition did not prevent him to be reviled by many of his compatriots who reproached him for having conceded the goal of the defeat in the final at home against Uruguay. The Sierra Leonean Mohamed Nbalie Kamara, nicknamed Fabianski, by his activity during this first round, as well as the Senegalese Edouard Mendy, crowned with his title of best goalkeeper in the world FIFA for the year 2021, nailed the beak to the theorists of counter.
2. Island stadiums
Attendance at CAN stadiums is unworthy of a continental competition of this level. Apart from the opening match Burkina-Faso-Cameroon which was full, the other meetings are shunned by the public. Of course, the mistrust of part of the Cameroonian population vis-à-vis the vaccine must be played. This does not hesitate to convey the conspiracy thesis that the vaccine was sent by Western countries to kill Africans. Just like the price of PCR tests or the complete vaccination course to be shown to access the stadium, in a country where the population would only be vaccinated at 6%. However, the main problem, rarely mentioned, is mobility and its corollary, the spectator experience. A stadium that is perhaps the most beautiful on the football planet, if the state of the roads to reach it is disastrous, if the traffic does not guarantee that tens of thousands of spectators can circulate easily to reach it, it undermines the enthusiasm of the spectators, who will prefer, even with permission to leave work and school at 2 p.m., the comfort of television to the hell of traffic jams. At a time when CAF has taken the historic decision to change the scene from meetings from Douala to Yaoundé, it is time to ask future AFCONs the question of urban planning issues related to the inclusion of the stadium in the life of the cited.
3. A CAN without disability
African football authorities have been condemned for having increased the number of participating teams from 16 to 24 in 2019. “Which public to attend meetings between small teams?” ; “The small teams will degrade the level of the competition! They will deteriorate the valuation of the competition”, some said to themselves. Suffer the sorrows of seeing your predictions broken: Sierra-Leone, Cape Verde, Gambia, Comoros and Equatorial Guinea have held the shock and often tied with the great nations of continental football. The critics of this formula will always have the ability to put forward the lack of preparation, the quality of the fields, equivalent for the two teams, etc. What if we accept that the level of these “small” nations has simply increased?
4. Africa finally in resistance
My friend Pape Diouf is unfortunately no longer there to see him. He would have been happy to see that 16 of the 24 CAN coaches in Cameroon are locals. Would African football finally come out of its complex which blocked the way to the talents of the countries. Florent Ibengue, 3and of the CAN 2015 and winner of the CHAN in 2016, participated in breaking the glass ceiling. The resistance of African football to the maneuvers of European clubs and the strong recommendations of FIFA and UEFA for a new postponement demonstrates that the status of the continent is changing and that is good. So, when will an African coach head a major European club?
5. Eto’o President
In a very difficult context, the new president of Fecafoot has shown himself to be a skilful tactician, a fine politician and a wise man. He preferred to stay in the locker room during the opening ceremony to prevent his popularity from overshadowing the highest personalities present in the stadium. He affirmed with calm and great determination on the antennas of Canal Plus his incomprehension in front of the requests for postponement, while the itinerant Euro had been maintained in a health context and a catastrophic and dangerous epidemic situation both for the health of the players. and that of the public. Only time will tell if he has the stature of a great president. For now, the suit fits him like a glove.