For the first time in history, African teams in the FIFA World Cup were coached by African coaches. CAF president, Patrice Motsepe has applauded the fact that African federations have invested and trusted local coaches to lead their African teams in the most prestigious tournament in the world.
“I can tell you given the opportunity, they are as good and, in many respects, better than the best in the world. I can tell you, sometimes people take a long time before they see significant progress, I can see it. It’s not where it should be but it’s getting there and what I like is that local coaches are succeeding. The best investment is to invest in local coaches. Coach the locals, to coach the locals,” Motsepe said at the CAF press briefing.
African teams had impressively represented the African continent. Cameroon and Tunisia shocked the world as they turned out victorious results, beating five-time FIFA World Cup winner Brazil and two-time FIFA World Cup winners France respectively in the group stages. Unfortunately, those victories did not warrant them a place in the round of 16, however, it was one of the highlights from an African perspective.
The Atlas Lions were the most outstanding of them all, as they became the first African country to reach the semifinals of a FIFA World Cup tournament. Morocco has had a stellar campaign having beaten Belgium, Spain, and Portugal.
Morocco has set the benchmark for African teams to follow. Morocco was the least favorite African team to be expected to impress. However, their tenacity and tactics have been fundamental in the FIFA World Cup. The support that federations have for the local coaches at the international level, should be transferred to the local clubs.