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AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by ogbiwa: 4:23pm On Jul 19, 2019
As Algeria and Senegal face each other in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final in Egypt on Friday, we look at some of the high and low points of the continent's biggest football tournament.

The knights of Madagascar
We all love an underdog and low-ranking Madagascar were the team many neutral fans were rooting for.

The Barea - named after a local hump-backed zebu cow - went on a fairy-tale run, outplaying and beating mighty Nigeria before reaching the quarter-finals in their first Afcon appearance.

Five years ago, Madagascar were ranked 190 out of 211 in the Fifa world rankings.

To qualify for the finals in Egypt, they had to take part in the preliminary round of qualifying, against Sao Tome and Principe in early 2017.

The country does not have a professional league and most of the squad play in the French second division, while others are based in Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Algeria and Egypt.

So impressed was President Andry Rajoelina with the team's performance when they made it to the last 16 that he paid for a plane carrying 480 fans from Madagascar to watch their game against the Democratic Republic of Congo, which they won.

Their impressive run of victories came to an end against Tunisia, but it didn't lessen their achievement.

President Rajoelina gave the players the rank of Knight of the Malagasy National Order, one of the highest state commendations, when they returned home. And their current ranking of 108 is set to rocket.

Why did Nigeria lose?
According to some Nigerian fans, the colour of the jersey the Super Eagles players wore, and not Riyad Mahrez's stunning last-minute free-kick, was the real reason the team lost to Algeria.

The team was wearing the "jinxed" dark green kit, they said.

It was their second loss at the tournament with the "cursed" jersey - the other was against none other than Madagascar.

Suspicion the jersey brought bad luck to the Super Eagles started at the 2018 World Cup when the team lost to Croatia and later to Argentina in a crucial match in which they needed just a point to progress to the knockout stages.

The pernicious influence of the shade of green has not confined itself to men's football. The Super Falcons were wearing the same jersey colour when they recently lost to Germany at the Women's World Cup in France.

However, inasmuch as fans may be quick to lay blame on the outfit, there have also been times when Nigeria won football matches donning the dark green jersey.

Maybe they just want the team to always wear the home kit, with its zigzag design that wowed fans and fashionistas alike ahead of last year's World Cup.

The army and the Pharaohs
The inquiry into how the Egyptian home team, one of the tournament's favourites, was knocked out early is still ongoing.

Egypt's loss led to an immediate purge of officials, including the coach, amid calls for an overhaul of how the game is run in the country.

Farouk Gaafar, who coached the Pharaohs in the 1990s, even suggested that the army should take over the administrative roles, saying there was a need for "discipline that will be found only in the army".

He said football management needed someone with "an iron fist".

"I haven't seen discipline like in the armed forces," said Gaafar, who once coached an Egyptian club run by the military.

The prospect of the army being in charge of running football is unlikely to appeal to many players.

Unlike Egypt, for Tanzania, Namibia, Guinea and Cameroon there is no talk of a military takeover, but they have all sacked their coaches because of their bad performance, while Uganda's French coach Sebastien Desabre left by mutual consent.

Harassment allegations
Egyptian midfielder Amr Warda was dropped for disciplinary reasons after social media conversations allegedly between him and a number of women were released following Egypt's game against Zimbabwe. There were allegations of sexual harassment.

He apologised to family, friends and team-mates in a social media video.

The allegations first emerged when Egyptian model Merhan Keller posted pictures on Instagram of inappropriate messages she says she received from Warda.

Other social media users also shared pictures of conversations and videos purporting to show Warda harassing them or other women online.

Shortly after Egypt beat the Democratic Republic of Congo to reach the final 16, Salah tweeted: "'No' means 'no'."

But added: "Many who make mistakes can change for the better and shouldn't be sent straight to the guillotine."

In a second tweet, Salah commented: "We need to believe in second chances... we need to guide and educate. Shunning is not the answer."

The tweets, which both received almost 5,000 comments, were met with angry reactions online.

"[Your] courage is in the wrong place [to defend] a harasser and a dirty man," replied prominent Egyptian journalist Islam Akel.

Warda's ban lasted two games but his return could not save Egypt.

The super fans
A Zimbabwean and a South African wanted to make history as the first people to make it from Cape to Cairo by road for a sports tournament.

Botha Msila and Alvin Zhakata aimed to conquer 10,000km (6,200 miles) by hitching rides and taking buses, but they ran into trouble at the Kenya-Ethiopia border as Ethiopia wanted them to apply online for a visa - this caused delays because of an internet blackout in the country.

Msila opted to fly to Cairo after South African officials and a media group intervened to help him.
Zhakata stuck to his plan. He eventually secured a visa to enter Ethiopia, and then ventured further north to Sudan, which was in the midst of a revolution.

He had been updating his followers on Twitter about his trip so when he did not post anything for days, the #FindAluvha campaigned was launched.

After Zhakata re-emerged, he said an internet shutdown in Ethiopia and Sudan had prevented him from updating his social media accounts.

His 44-day journey to Egypt began on 27 May, taking him through Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.

He told the BBC his life had been "threatened" several times but he was proud to have made it and felt "he was on top of the world".

His inspiring story has also brought him good tidings - the president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), Ahmad, has said that Zhakata will get a VVIP ticket for the final match. He will also pay for Zhakata's flight back to Zimbabwe.

Zhakata, who calls himself "a prisoner of passion and an adventurer", advises that "if you have a dream go for it".

The Ozil boy
A few months ago, 12-year-old Lawrence Masira was just a normal Kenyan boy playing football in the dirt in the capital, Nairobi.

A passerby snapped a picture of him wearing an Arsenal jersey with the name of star midfielder Mesut Ozil drawn on the back of the shirt his mother had bought him.

A picture of Lawrence's makeshift shirt was posted online and eventually came to the attention of the Arsenal star who sent him a signed shirt and football boots.

And things continue to get better for Lawrence - he was picked as a mascot at the Afcon quarter-final between Tunisia and Madagascar.

Big country v small country
Tanzania were knocked out of the group stages with zero points.

It was an embarrassing performance that drew the anger of President John Magufuli, who found the Taifa Stars' loss against Senegal to be especially indefensible.

"How can Tanzania with 55 million people lose to a country of two million people? We have to ask how we cannot get 11 players from our population to represent us in this important game which is loved all over the world," the bemused president said.

He had a point that Tanzania was more populous than Senegal, but he undercounted Senegal's population by 13 million.

Though the loss was not unexpected as in Fifa's ranking Senegal are Africa's top team while Tanzania are placed 36th.

Ghana's 'general captain'
The debate about who should captain Ghana's Black Stars has been contentious for many years.

When Asamoah Gyan - who had led the team for seven years - found out that he was going to be replaced as captain this time round by Andre Ayew, he immediately announced his retirement.

However, he rescinded his decision after a telephone conversation with Ghana's President Nana Akuffo-Addo and being named the "general captain".

Yet the "general" failed to lead the Black Stars to their first Africa Cup of Nations' trophy since 1982.

[bEmpty stadiums[/b]
Apart from matches featuring the hosts, other games have been poorly attended.

The organisers admit that the cost of the ticket and a system that required fans to obtain a special identity card locked out many supporters.

Mohamed Fadl, the chief executive of the Local Organising Committee, said this would change for the final game, which will be "full to capacity".

Some reports say Algerian authorities have made available 28 commercial planes and six military ones to transport 5,600 fans to watch the match.
So the stadium should be as packed, noisy and colourful as it was during the first game between Egypt and Zimbabwe; a befitting send-off to a cracking football festival.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-48989769

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by anthonyuncle(m): 5:16pm On Jul 19, 2019
nice points.
that Tanzanian president's speech got me sha

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by courage89(m): 6:58pm On Jul 19, 2019
Interesting
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by NOL2dworld(m): 6:58pm On Jul 19, 2019
No matter what question U have to ask, Jesus is the answer to all.. Matt 11:28-30

6 Likes

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Emu4life: 6:58pm On Jul 19, 2019
Like for SENEGAL, share for ALGERIA
I want the Trophy in West Africa though...

20 Likes 5 Shares

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by oluwasegun007(m): 6:59pm On Jul 19, 2019
Lovely compilation..

But you missed the part when a topless lady ran into the pitch during the match between Nigeria and Algeria..

Abi was it my imagination??

2 Likes

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by ikombe: 6:59pm On Jul 19, 2019
I deal on Gym and Exercise equipments for Home and Commercial Use .

Delivery Within Lagos. Waybill outside lagos. Check signature and profile for more info

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by olaolulazio(m): 7:01pm On Jul 19, 2019
Senegal for Mane.

1 Like

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by itsIYKE(m): 7:01pm On Jul 19, 2019
Vh
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Primusinterpares(m): 7:01pm On Jul 19, 2019
The point when we loved out remains the most painful

1 Like

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by bamasite(m): 7:02pm On Jul 19, 2019
Game on!


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Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by emerged01(m): 7:03pm On Jul 19, 2019
That stupid Jersay Is our Jersey. How can that stupid color should be call Green,without even touch of white.

1 Like

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Brightiq: 7:04pm On Jul 19, 2019
Tanzania grin
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by DarlingEmojist(m): 7:04pm On Jul 19, 2019
Chai!! Wole Soyinka sit down and write this long time.. No Lie!!
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Davidcruze(m): 7:05pm On Jul 19, 2019
That jersey should be changed
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by worldclass68(m): 7:06pm On Jul 19, 2019
lol general captain of Ghana grin
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Sadiq3051(m): 7:09pm On Jul 19, 2019
na true talk, anyways we represent Senegal


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkjOFl4ZtA
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Legendguru: 7:10pm On Jul 19, 2019
oh
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by BIAFRONIGERIAN(m): 7:10pm On Jul 19, 2019
The Tanzanian President got me laughing. grin grin
Africa my Africa grin grin grin

2 Likes

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Sonofthunder9(m): 7:13pm On Jul 19, 2019
C
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Amuocha: 7:15pm On Jul 19, 2019
God punish the jersey designer
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by OrdinaryNigeria(m): 7:21pm On Jul 19, 2019
Hahahaha Tanzanian president. Come see our 200million population wey Madagascar beat na
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Starboytwo(m): 7:24pm On Jul 19, 2019
This is the only thing i remember

6 Likes

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by WolvyX5: 7:25pm On Jul 19, 2019
How empty the stadiums have been Terrible undecided

4 Likes

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by Adelekefresh: 7:26pm On Jul 19, 2019
B
Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by enemmo(f): 7:29pm On Jul 19, 2019
Very dry tournament.

No sexy football

Empty stadiums

1 Like

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by anjilgreat(f): 7:45pm On Jul 19, 2019
WolvyX5:
How empty the stadiums have been Terrible undecided

Very terrible, I think the empty stadium during the AFCON should be the greatest talking point of the tournament.

1 Like

Re: AFCON 2019: The Biggest Talking Points From The Tournament by goshen26: 7:46pm On Jul 19, 2019
This Tanzanian pressy must come from the lineage of Alibaba and Kenny Blaq.

If football victory is a function of population then Nigeria should be winning world cup back 2 back

5 Likes 1 Share

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