Africa’s Growing Coaching Nationalism and A World Cup Legacy
The coaching tide is turning, and nationalism is growing amongst the big boys of African football.
At the beginning of the African world cup playoff, seven African coaches out of ten were out to help their country to the Mundial.
Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana joined Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, and Algeria in turning to their local coaches to lead them to the FIFA World Cup playoff.
In the end, four out of the seven made it through to Qatar 2022.
They are now instant heroes in their nations as Cameroon look forward to an eighth appearance at the World Cup, Tunisia a sixth and Ghana a fourth.
African Coaches At The World Cup
Firstly, Abdelmajid Chetali was the first African coach at the world cup after he managed Tunisia in 1978.
Also, the number is unprecedented for African coaches, as only eight have ever coached at the world cup.
Mahieddine Khalef Rachid Mekloufi(1982), Adegboye Onigbinde(2002), Stephen Keshi(2014) and Aliou Cisse are the heroes.
Others are, Rabah Saadane(1986, 2010), Mahmoud Al-Ghorari(1990), Jomo Sono(1998) and, Ammar Souayah(2002).
Coaching Nationalism: The Aliou Cisse Effect
Leading the charge is Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cisse.
African coaches are marching on after Aliou became one of the few to lead his country to back-to-back world cups.
Cisse captained Senegal at the 2002 world cup before leading them to the 2018 world cup in Russia.
Furthermore, his legacy keeps increasing after winning the AFCON trophy on his second attempt.
Now he is going back to the world cup.
Meanwhile, managers of the same nationality as the winning country won in all previous 21 FIFA World Cups.
Coaching Nationalism: Meet The Four Torch Bearers
Jalel Kadri (Tunisia), Rigobert Song(Cameroon), Otto Addo(Ghana), and Aliou Cisse(Senegal) are the men flying the African coaching flag.
Rigobert Song, the most capped Cameroonian with 137 national team appearances, was called up despite never coaching a senior team.
Jalel Kadri did have inside knowledge of Tunisia, having assisted Mondher Kebaier, who got dumped after a Cup of Nations quarter-finals loss to Burkina Faso.
Also, former Borussia Dortmund assistant Otto Addo combined with ex-Newcastle and Brighton boss Chris Hughton to give Ghana an unexpected triumph over Nigeria.
In the end, how much will the success of the victorious Four have on the future of African coaches?