, author: Ermakova M.

The World Cup in Qatar has become a triumph for African football

The Moroccan national team achieved the highest result in the history of continental football.

The World Cup in Qatar is a triumphant tournament for African football: for the first time a team from this continent made it to the semi-finals. The path to this success was long and difficult.

The main character of the 1966 World Cup was named Eusebio. The Portuguese striker became his top scorer, scoring nine goals. His native Mozambique at that time still remained a Portuguese colony, and therefore Eusebio played for the national team of the colonizing country.

Until the sixties, talented African footballers had no other fate. Few people thought about the development of football in the colonies, and only when they began to gain independence, specialists from other countries came here. Trainers from the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia went to some of them, who had taken the socialist path of development, and to others, who retained ties with yesterday's metropolis, from France, the Netherlands, and Spain. Africa entered the world football family too late, but now that its representative - the national team of Morocco - was in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, we can say firmly: African football has gained strength.

European arrogance towards African football led to a scandal in the selection for the very World Cup-66, where Eusebio will shine. The fact is that Africa did not receive a single direct ticket to the tournament and had to play in conjunction with the representative of Asia or Oceania. As a result, sixteen national teams boycotted the selection. It was only in 1970 that an African team made its first appearance at the World Cup - and it was the Moroccan team.

Of course, at first, the Africans could not seriously compete with teams from Europe and South America. The continent lacked fields, inventory, specialists and methods, and food. The Zaire national team at the 74 World Cup lost all three matches of the group stage with a total score of 0:14.

Но постепенно ситуация будет меняться. В 1986 году сборная Марокко сенсационно выиграет групповой этап, опередив англичан, пoляков и португальцев, и впервые в истории африканского футбола выйдет в плей-офф, где минимально уступит будущему вице-чемпиону сборной ФРГ - 0:1.

А в 1990 году состоится настоящая сенсация. Её сотворит сборная Камеруна во главе с советским тренером Валерием Непомнящим, добравшись до четвертьфинала. Весь мир запомнит пoлёт Франсуа Омам-Бийика, забивающего победный гол в ворота сборной Аргентины, и 38-летнего Роже Милла, чей дубль вывел "Неукротимых львов" в четвертьфинал.

And this result has long remained the highest achievement of African football. Although the spectators of the world championships have seen many bright teams from the hottest continent. In 1994 and 1998, Nigeria was good with Amokachi and Amuneke, Finidi and Babangida, but both times they were eliminated in the 1/8 finals. In 2002, the Senegal national team with Fadiga, Camara and Diop finally repeated the achievement of the Cameroonians and reached the quarterfinals, but lost to the Turks. In 2010, Ghana climbed just as far, but in a tense duel lost in a penalty shootout to Uruguay.

And in 2022, in Qatar, the African team for the first time was in the top four teams in the world. Yes, even as - wards Walid Regraga, a local coach, by the way, knocked out of the drawing of the three favorites - Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Yes, the Moroccans are criticized for being too strict in defense, but everyone can criticize, but not win.