The owner of South African football team Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. and the current president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe , is masterminding Africa to make history in winning the singular most popular international sporting event in the world.
However, this isn’t the first time such a statement has been made. The football legend Pele, whose all time official goals record (767) has been recently broken by Cristiano Ronaldo (770) once forecasted that an African team would win FIFA World Cup by the year 2000. The Brazilian G.O.A.T has won the FIFA World Cup thrice (1970, 1962, 1958). Motsepe’s Sundowns is nicknamed after Brazil as “The Brazilians” due to the color of their jersey.
When Pele made his prediction, it was at a time when football in Africa was making great progress. It was based on the performance of African nations in the global tournament. In 1990, Cameroon shook the world becoming the first African nation to reach the round of 8 in FIFA World Cup. Years after in 2002, Senegal made it to quarter-finals and in 2010 Ghana repeated history.
At Italia ’90, we saw Albert Roger Miller popularly known as Roger Milla from Cameroon netting 4 goals at the age of 38 becoming the oldest goalscorer in the history of FIFA World Cup. He became one of FIFA’s 100 greatest football players of all time recording 5 goals in total by 1994. However, the player with the highest FIFA World Cup goals from Africa is Ghana’s Asamoah Gyang with 6 goals in total.
Moving African Football Forward
So far, the quarter-finals is how far Africa has gone. What then went wrong? Africa performance since then has been poor, but managers like Ndubuisi Egbo strongly believes Pele’s prophecy will materialize someday. Egbo is the first African coach from Nigeria to win a high flag league in Europe as well as taking Albania’s KF Tirana to play in the UEFA Champions League.
With the new CAF council, made of 5 Vice Presidents (1st: Augustin Senghor, 2nd: Ahmed Yahya, 3rd: Waberi Souleiman, 4th: Seidou Mbombo Njoya, 5th: Kanizat Ibrahim) and the General Secretary ( Véron Mosengo-Omba), President Patrice Motsepe is drawing the blueprint to see the continent win the FIFA World Cup.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.