They get the serious look on them when a nation is coming off a horrible performance in an important tournament and now has a critical match against its rivals looming in the near horizon.
This should be playing in the minds of several FA’s in this region especially after not so good results posted by the CECAFA region in the past rounds of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier games.
There is no way to dress up how lousy teams in this region have performed especially going into the World Cup qualifiers. The groups stages have become the holy grail of our football, topping them/ pushing for a playoff stage has been a dream never to be realized.
With fixtures upcoming a weekend from now, its really hard to not understand why not our FA’s are organizing friendlies to help our region get at least a proper world cup appearance.
The hugest story from the AFCON qualifiers must have been South Sudan the newest members of FIFA registering their first ever win. It wasn’t just a win for South Sudan- it should have acted as a wake up call to other countries that even with lost of years of experience, without a proper showing, it counts for nothing.
Reputations speak for themselves and without much thought, footballing countries in regions like that of West Africa, who have endlessly flown the African flag high at the World Cup qualifiers have more than often sought friendlies with reputable countries.
Nigeria for example have already had their calender planned out and shall be playing two high profile friendlies in Belgium. It’s a constant chase for higher levels of competition and even when to play African sides- they chose levels that can challenge them.
The underlying cause of football struggle on the international stage could be put down to the amount of time the players spend together in the National Team and friendlies help create that time and bond.
Its also worth noting that countries like South Sudan, conscious of their lack of it have had player sin camp already even before next week’s marathon of games. And even planning a friendly this Saturday against neighbours Eritrea at Juba stadium from 2pm, before the Midweek and weekend travels.
Little has been heard of other countries around East Africa:
East Africa has sat on its belly for far too long. Money has always been the issue, but with little investments, returns too should be minimal, it’s the basics of every venture.
Now obviously the focus has shifted to the World Cup qualifiers for most countries but that’s not before issues like players allowances threaten to cloud the excitement and hope of a region that has been starved off good results for a long time.
All the same, we wish our countries good results in their upcoming fixtures and keep flying the East African flag high out there.