Glass Ceiling Over Africa at the Football World Cup. Can it be Broken?

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Simon Mwithiga
By Simon Mwithiga

A thrilling three-stage clash saw Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia snatch the five spots available for African countries in the 2022 World Cup.

Heading into the final tournament in Qatar, all eyes will be on Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal, given that no other African side has ever made it past the World Cup playoffs besides the trio. The big question sparking debates around the globe is: which country among them is likely to come out on top, and why? Let’s delve into the answers.  

Ghana- The Black Stars Head to Qatar Hoping to Rekindle their Form

Ghana’s greatest triumph in the World Cup Competitions came in 2010 when they became the only African country to qualify for the round of 16. Sadly, it’s been choppy waters since then, with the most-recent bad break seeing them win only two of their twelve fixtures this year. That is not to mention the humiliating early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament that saw the appointment of Walid Regragui as the head coach to replace Vahid Halilhodžić.

Despite the appointment of a new manager, there were no signs of revitalization in the ensuing matches. 

Most Ghanaians are calling for the sacking of the new manager before the Black Stars head to Qatar for encounters with Uruguay and Portugal in Group H.

Ghana National Football Team
Benjamin Mussler, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cameroon- Squad for Qatar Named Despite Disqualification Fears

In 1990, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions became the first African country to advance to the World Cup quarter-finals. No African country has matched that performance, which saw them earn unlikely victories over Colombia, Romania, and Argentina.

The Unbelievable Qualification Story of Cameroon’s World Cup Qualification

Fast forward to this year’s World Cup, Cameroon could be disqualified from the upcoming world cup campaign following a recent legal battle that angered FIFA. Rigobert Song has named a 26-man squad captained by former FC Porto icon Vincent Aboubakar in hopes that FIFA will turn a blind eye like in 2013 when they were spared indefinite disqualification from international football.

Senegal- disappointment as Sadio Mane not Included in Official Lineup for the World Cup

This year, The Lions of Teranga head to Qatar full of confidence with a star-studded side managed by soccer veteran Aliou Cissé. Sadio Mane could have been a tournament star player, given his perfect form in front of the goal in recent years. Here are some soccer superstars who will be attending the WorldCup: Édouard Mendy, Khalidou Koulibaly, Abdou Diallo, and Idrissa Gueye.

The Lions of Teranga are Favorites to Come out on Top
With Cameroon and Ghana’s controversies and hurdles heading into the competition, Africa’s hope for hitting new milestones at the World Cup rests on Senegal. And rightly so because the African side has a focused, compact squad capable of replicating their performance at the AFCON and World Cup campaigns in 2022 and 2002, respectively. With Champions League and Premier League winner Sadio Mane being the central element or catalyst in this high-quality squad as they seek to do that, the “Senegal winning the World Cup” conversation cannot be dismissed.

Senegal playing Olympic Football at Wembley Stadium Senegal keeper tips away the first effort and then Luis Suarez is thwarted on the goal line.
Olympic Football at Wembley Stadium” by the_junes is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0