Black Africa shows better performance at national level

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Africa south of the Sahara demonstrated its supremacy on the occasion of the 2000 world Cup qualifying matches/Africa zone by raking four out of the five slots reserved for the continent, the Senegalese News Agency (APS) commented Monday.
Thus, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria (which qualified Sunday) and Senegal are from Africa south of the Sahara, as against only one representative of North Africa - Tunisia - which qualified for the World Cup in 1978, 1998 and 2002, the agency noted.
It added that North-African supremacy at the level of clubs is thus called into question at the level of national teams at the end of qualifying matches for the World Cup to be jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea.
After the Group "C" surprise, created by Senegal which belied all prognostics by getting the one qualification slot available at the expense of customary participants in World Cup finals such as Egypt (1938, 1990), Morocco (1970, 1986, 1994, 1998), Algeria (1982, 1986), it is football in Africa south of the Sahara, involving West Africa with Nigeria (1994, 1998 and 2002) and Senegal (first qualification in history) which made giant strides.
In fact, North African clubs stand out at the level of clubs, which by their infrastructure and their organisations, are much more advanced than their counterparts in Black Africa.
The ranking established by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for club competitions between 1965 and 2000, clearly points to a supremacy of Northern clubs, namely Egypt which placed two teams - El Ahly and Zamalek - in the first two slots.
The leading clubs of Africa south of the Sahara which appear in this CAF ranking of the best African clubs of the century are Ashanti Kotoko from Kumasi and Canon in Yaounde in quest for their past glory.
North Africa still places another club in 5th position with Esperance de Tunis, the leading team in the 1990s, runnerup to the 2000 African League Champions, Ghana's Hearts, which shares the 6th place with ASEC Mimosas in Abidjan.
This ranking proves the supremacy of North African clubs over their counterparts in Africa south of the Sahara.
Thanks to their means, they manage to keep young talents within the country but also attract some African players who wish to make their European dream come true.
This is the case of former Cameroonian goal-keeper, Joseph Antoine Bell who made the good days of Egyptian clubs before going to France, and more recently Julius Agahowa, Nigeria's prodigy child who eliminated Senegal's Lions during the quarter finals of the 2000 African Nations' Cup.
Paradoxically, it is the exodus of the best African players, which made it possible for Black Africa to compare well at the level of national teams.
Cameroon, qualified for the 1982, 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cup tournaments, was ranked by CAF as best African team of the century.
Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco follow the Cameroonians, who made the best African performance in World Cup finals with a quarterfinal position in 1990.
Then come Ghana, Algeria, Tunisia, DR Congo, South Africa and Cote d'Ivoire at the 10th slot.
Senegal, which never won anything neither with its national team nor with its clubs, is at the 15th slot in that ranking in which Gabon occupies the 21st and last slot.

30 july 2001 21:45:00

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