Saturday, January 21, 2012

Africa Cup of Nations 2012

Over the last years the African Cup of Nations has grown in importance and is surely one of the best international tournaments in the world today, assembling some of the strongest African talent. As often, the tournament is surrounded by political controversy, and no less this year, being hosted by two nations, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
But far beyond this, the most interesting part is the football. The defending champions, Egypt, were unable to qualify, and so were the (former?) giants of Nigeria, who still seem to be unable to take advantage of their huge pool of talent, South Africa, who did not qualify in the most ridiculous way, and Cameroon, who were eliminated by Senegal.
On the other hand, some rather previously unknown nations have come forward: Equatorial Guinea, Niger and Botswana are all participating for the first time, while Burkina Faso, Libya and Sudan are all eager to show their footballing passion at the highest level. Zambia, a nations with enormous footballing talent, but who suffered by losing their entire football team in a fight accident, is back with a strong talented side, while Tunisia and Senegal will want to return to their previous times of glory. Mali also has a very interesting side that is worth watching.
Although the tournament has many interesting and powerful sides, the favourites are surely the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Both teams have a strong base of experienced European-based players, and both have experience of international tournaments at the highest level.
My support and heart is with the Black Stars! And I hope to be able to watch some African football from here in South America!

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