which is the first African country to have participated?

Egypt was the first African country to play in a World Cup, in 1934. AI/Reuters/Panoramic

In the middle of the 20th century, African countries were absent from the FIFA World Cup, after a brief participation by Egypt.

In four years, the 2026 World Cup will feature 48 teams. It will be necessary to explain to the younger generations that there have not always been 48, or even 32, as will still be the case in Qatar this year. Originally, the World Cup, inaugurated in 1930, included 13 nations. France was one of the 4 European countries, along with 5 South Americans, the United States and Mexico. But from 1934, the World Cup opened up to the rest of the globe.

Egypt crushed Mandatory Palestine, the ancestor of the Israeli selection, during a round-trip dam in April 1934 (7-1 in Cairo, 4-1 in Tel Aviv). She thus qualified for a 16-team World Cup, with entry knockout stages. This is where Egypt started and stopped, beaten by Hungary (4-2). Subsequently, Fifa will no longer give an opportunity to African countries to qualify…until 1966. And even then, things did not go as planned.

Africa skipped the 1966 World Cup

Fifa grouped Africa, Asia and Oceania in the same zone, and granted only one ticket for the 1966 World Cup. African nations, outraged that they are not assured that the one of them will qualify, have decided to withdraw. It was therefore North Korea, Australia’s faller in the play-offs, who took advantage of it. In 1970, Fifa reviewed its way of doing things, and it was Morocco that signed Africa’s return to the biggest footballing scene in the world. The Atlas Lions finished last in a group consisting of West Germany, Peru and Bulgaria.

German Franz Beckenbauer and Moroccan Benkhrif Boujemaa at the 1970 World Cup. STAFF / AFP

In 2022, 5 African countries have qualified for the World Cup, against 13 for Europe, 6 for Asia, 4 for North America and 4 for South America. In 2026, 9 African nations will be invited to the event.

SEE ALSO – World 2022: Qatar expelled foreign workers claiming their unpaid wages

Laisser un commentaire