African Cup of Nation: Old Rivalries Rekindled

Adeola Aderounmu

Ghana vs. Nigeria and Algeria vs. Egypt. These are classical games. On paper, Egypt and Ghana should be heading to the finals. This is because Egypt has won all the matches played so far. They are also out to prove a point that losing to Algeria in Sudan was an unfair result for them. The Algerians have emerged from being humbled by the Malawians to a great force after seeing to the exit of highly rated Ivory Coast.

Ghana has not been spectacular but they have shown more enthusiasm than their Nigeria counterparts. Nigeria struggled to beat Zambia and only after the penalty shoot out did Nigeria manage to scale through to the semi-final.

I hope that security are in place to prevent the ugly scenes from Sudan, Egypt and Algeria that we had 2 months ago during the world cup qualifiers that Algeria finally won by a lone goal in Khartoum. It will be shameful it the North Africans come to Angola to show their violent tendencies. We have had enough of that and please let us see some beautiful football and live in peace.

One also hopes to find a good centre referee. Officiating has been disastrous in this tournament. Ivory Coast got an equaliser against Algeria but it was wrongly ruled as offside by a careless linesman. The demoralising of Cameroun was completed by another catastrophic officiating that ruled for a goal when the ball didn’t even touch the line.

If FIFA has been reasonable to introduce TECHNOLOGY into this game, it would have taken less than 1 minute to verify these “2 disasters” among several others. Until then, cheating and useless decisions will continue to take the beauty of the game away.

May the better team win on Thursday and may we get a beautiful final.

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