Russia 2018: Africa’s worst performance in 36 years
All the five African countries at the on-going Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Russia, would be missing in action as the competition enters its round of sixteen stage.
For obvious reasons none of them was able to progress from the group stages into the knock stages.
And for the records, it is the worst performance in the last 36 years of the continent history in the competition.
It was therefore obvious that, many Africans were disappointed in the performance of the five representatives of the continent.
With an enviable record of three quarter-final appearances as its best in the global showpiece, the 2018 World Cup seems to have ended the interest of the continent in the competition prematurely.
The last time Africa recorded such distasteful feat in the world cup was 36 years ago in 1982 World Cup in Spain, where all the two African teams representing the continent; Cameroon and Algeria were eliminated in the first round.
The shocking exit from the 2018 World Cup, however, came after its last viable hope Senegal, were knocked out by Columbia with a lone goal victory, from Yerry Mina’s header from a corner kick.
The continents best performance in the global spectacle was in Italy 1990, after Cameroon led by Roger Milla progressed to the quarter final stage for the first time and only lost to England, even under controversial circumstances. It was indeed the first time Africa had chalked such a significant performance in the global event.
This was followed by another quarter finals stage achievement from Senegal, whose fairy tale in the 2002 World Cup saw them losing to Turkey in the competition jointly hosted by Korea/Japan.
Ghana followed up with another splendid performance in 2010 in South Africa, when an infamous hand ball from Louis Suarez of Uruguay denied them the opportunity to make progress to a historic semi-final berth, with a subsequent penalty squandered by Asamoah Gyan.
From the records, one cannot hold, but to conclude it was the worst performance from the continent and many believed that, the continent is still far behind in the global front despite the abundance of talents, some of whom light up major leagues in Europe and Asia.
However, it is unfair call for a reduction of the continents slots despite the poor performance in 2018.
This is in view of the fact that, it was the first time in 36 years, the continent has put up such a woeful performance in the competition.