Africa, AFCON, Keshi, coach,

During the last World Cup in 2010, out of the six African countries in the tournament only one of them had an African manager, and that was Algerian coach, Rabah Saadane, who was also in charge of Algeria last time they qualified for the World Cup in Mexico in 1986.

The other five teams were coached by a Serbian,Brazilian,Frenchman and two Swedes one of whom was the former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson who had been given the job in March to guide the Ivory Coast until the end of the World Cup for which he was paid a six-figure salary.

Not a single Ivorian coach was shortlisted to replace outgoing Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodzic who claimed his sacking was purely political after only losing only one game out of 24 in charge of the Elephants.

While the whole continent is crazy about football, and many of its star players play for top clubs in Europe only three African teams have ever made it to the World Cup quarter-finals.

During the 2010 World Cup in Africa despite having six teams playing yet only managed four wins despite having big name players in their teams both Cameroon and Nigeria managed to finish last in their groups. It would appear that football in Africa is consumed with political infighting and corruption a problem that seems to occur with everything in Africa, and not only sport.

Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi was complaining about the lack of black coaches on the continent saying:

“I am never against white coaches in Africa.”  “I am happy to work with a quality, experienced white coach, who is better than me, so that I can learn from him.

“But what I don’t accept is when you bring in a mediocre ‘carpentry’ coach from Europe, and tell me that he’s better than me. I won’t accept that. Meanwhile we have quality African former players, who can do the same thing, but you don’t give them the opportunity because they’re just black dudes. I don’t like that.”

As if to prove a point Keshi’s team the Super Eagles went on to win the AFCON earlier this year, and when you look into what the Nigerian had to say there is certainly some truth in it.

The vast majority of the coaches that come to Africa from Europe or South America are people who no one has ever heard of coming from obscure lower division clubs, yet for some reason the African Football Association still prefer to hire a foreign coach rather than one of their own countryman preferring to pay the expatriate coach more money than they would have to pay a home-grown coach.

Despite all the imported football managers that have failed African national teams with none of them showing any real improvement on the world stage you have to think surly it is time for a change in the approach as, a coach that is successful in Europe would never come to Africa, and why would they unless they wanted to catch malaria or get caught up in a civil war.

Football is just like everything else in Africa where countries prefer to rely on foreign aid rather than to tap their own vast wealth of natural resources.

Perhaps the day will come when there will be a change in this philosophy but I doubt it so long as the people in power see how clubs now in Europe bring in high priced coaches in the hope of success as is the case with Jose Mourinho or Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea and Madrid.