LOCAL EXPERTISE ON THE BENCHES OF THE 5 AFRICAN COUNTRIES
Unpublished! The five African countries qualified for the Qatar 2022 football world cup will all have local technicians on their bench. A historical fact that values local expertise often capped at the post by « white wizards »
The Qatar 2022 World Cup is simply historic for Africa. The 5 qualified countries from the continent will take part in the FIFA World Cup for the first time with coaches from the continent. Walid Regragui, appointed coach of Morocco, brings to 5 the African nationals designated to lead their nations in Qatar.
MOROCCO IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SENEGAL, CAMEROON, TUNISIA AND GHANA
Unprecedented fact, Walid Regragui, 46, will play the 2022 World Cup at the head of the Moroccan selection. His recent appointment by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) as coach of the Atlas Lions is added to the list of 4 other African countries which will have “local” technicians on their benches. It must be said that for some time now, we have been witnessing an awakening of local technicians in Africa for the pennant teams. A new page is being written for African football in the World Cup. Because we can say that it is the hour of the local technicians. The former Atlas Lions international with whom he totaled 45 caps, replaces Vahid Halilhodzic, dismissed earlier in August 2022. The ex-coach of WAC Casablanca, whom he left in July, signed a contract of three years. A news that comes nearly 100 days before the World Cup. In Qatar, Morocco, poured into group F, will face Croatia, Belgium and Canada.
ALIOU CISSE AND SENEGAL
Senegal, African Champion was the first in 2015 to establish a local on its benches with Aliou Cissé. A decision that paid off 8 years later as Aliou Cissé named Coach of the Year at the CAF Awards in July 2022 was the first coach to win the Africa Cup of Nations with the Lions of Senegal in February 2022 in Cameroon . Since 2015 he has held the reins of the Lions, he will go to the World Cup twice as a coach after the World Russia 2018. Beaten in the first leg, Senegal eliminated Egypt coached by the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz from the race at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, on March 29, 2022 by penalty shootout. A goal from Boulaye Dia allowed Senegal to beat Egypt and then win on penalties (1-0, 3 pens to 1) in the second leg of the qualifying play-offs for the 2022 World Cup. Much more incisive in the match return, the Lions of Aliou Cissé signed a big collective performance to win their qualification for the next World Cup.
RIGOBERT SONG AND CAMEROON
Appointed on February 28, 2022, Rigobert Song Bahanag goes down in history as the second Cameroonian coach to have qualified his country for this prestigious world competition. In Cameroon, qualification for the World Cup by a local coach comes for the second time in history after that of Léonard Nseke (who died in October 2017) who achieved this performance in 1993, qualifying the Indomitable Lions for the FIFA World Cup. FIFA, United States 1994. Rigobert Song snatched his ticket for the World Cup by overturning the defeat conceded in the first leg in Douala (1-0) against Algeria. Led and eliminated one minute from the end, Cameroon qualified in Algeria, on Tuesday March 29, for the World Cup in Qatar thanks to a goal by Olympique de Lyon member Karl Toko Ekambi, giving the victory (2-1) to his team in the last seconds of the match. Criticized after the failure of the first leg, the coach manager of the Indomitable Lions innovated by establishing the unknown Léandre Tawamba, from Al Taawoun. It was therefore a winning coaching that led the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to their eighth participation in the FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022. A victory in extremis which constitutes a founding act for the mandate of Rigobert Song, now seated on the Bench of the Indomitable Lions.
JALEL KADRI AND TUNISIA
Jalel Kadri in Qatar with the Carthage Eagles. By qualifying Tunisia for the World Cup for the 6th time in its history, Jalel Kadri wrote in golden letters a new page in the history of Tunisian football. Appointed at the head of the Carthage Eagles after the elimination of Tunisia in the quarter-finals of CAN 2021 by Burkina Faso, Jalel Kadri has accomplished his mission. This success allowed him to join Abdelmajid Chetali (1978) and Nabil Maâloul (1998) in the pantheon of local coaches who took the Carthage Eagles to the World Cup. The Carthage Eagles achieved the bare minimum at the Hammadi Agrebi Olympic Stadium in Rades on March 29 by conceding a sufficient draw (0-0) to dismiss Mali and go to the World Cup. The Tunisians will not have finally scored the slightest goal during this barrage since in the first leg, it was the unfortunate Sissako who had scored against his side, causing the Malian fall in spite of himself. Jalel Kadri, who triumphed in this double confrontation against Mali, was able to transmit self-confidence, by calmly and serenely giving his instructions during these two crucial matches.
ADDO OTTO AND GHANA
Ghana coach Addo Otto led the Black Stars to the World Cup after knocking out Nigeria’s Super Eagles. The former Ghanaian international winger has been in post since February 2022, after the dismissal of Serbian Milovan Rajevac following the elimination of Ghana in the first round of CAN2021. The qualification of the Black Stars of Addo Otto at the World Cup was crucial against the Super Eagles of Nigeria who left with the favor of the predictions after their 0-0 draw in Kumasi in the first leg. The four-time African champions secured their place at Qatar 2022 when they held arch-rivals Nigeria 1-1 in Abuja to qualify on an away goal. Captain Thomas Partey had given Ghana an 11th-minute lead in Abuja before William Troost Ekong equalized for the Super Eagles in the 22nd minute. Partey opened the scoring with a shot from the edge of the box that Nigerian keeper Francis Uzoho couldn’t do anything about. If they managed to regain their delay on penalty in the 22nd minute, the Super Eagles did not manage to win the game which could have guaranteed them a place for the 2022 World Cup. Despite the Nigerian assaults, the Ghanaian defense remained solid and united throughout the game.
WHO IS WALID REGRAGUI, THE NEW ATLAS LIONS TECHNICIAN?
Born in Corbeil-Essonne, Walid Regragui, 46, played as a player for several French clubs (Toulouse, Ajaccio, Dijon, Grenoble) and was international with the Atlas Lions. During a particularly brilliant season, he won this year with Wydad Casablanca the titles of African champion and Moroccan champion. He took over the management of Wydad Casablanca in August 2021 and announced his official departure at the beginning of August 2022.
5 NATIONALS IN THE WORLD CUP, A PRIDE FOR AFRICA
The presence of the 5 African coaches in Qatar represents a giant step towards the development of African football. Proof that local expertise can also work well if given a chance. This will be an opportunity for the whole world to discover the know-how of African technicians but also a nod to the training program for African coaches with the Pro License of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The program launched for the first time in 2018 on the continent aims to obtain the highest certification of the CAF coach education system, which is the qualification of a top coach in the world. The said license is strictly reserved for coaches actively practicing at a professional level, having demonstrated a certain level of performance and success, and having previously acquired a CAF A license or an equivalent qualification recognized by CAF. More and more African coaches show a certain enthusiasm at work both in CAF competitions with first division clubs or in the league, but also in the flag teams.