Nothing to be proud of

AS things stand now the six African countries taking part in the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup so far seem to be failing to shake off the stereotypical belief that African teams are simply not equipped to challenge for top football honours.

AS things stand now the six African countries taking part in the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup so far seem to be failing to shake off the stereotypical belief that African teams are simply not equipped to challenge for top football honours.

This year's edition of the quadrennial tournament is currently on African soil for the first time in its decades-long history.

So it is indeed meant to be an African World Cup.

So what on earth is going wrong with the African challenge?

Hosts South Africa's Bafana Bafana seem to be lost and will need a stiff dose of the Madiba magic when they face France tomorrow in what looks like their disgraceful last convulsion in the world showpiece.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria, one-time favourites, still have to win a game, something that seems very elusive.

The Desert Foxes of Algeria are not known for their football skills.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, having lost to Japan and Denmark, should undertake a long session of introspection.

Boasting the likes of Samuel Eto'o, twice the winner of the Uefa Champions League and twice the African Player of the Year, Cameroon's performance left much to be desired.

The Elephants, Ivory Coast, still have to show their true colours.

They are pitted against the most formidable sides.

But the form book, critics and local superstition say they are also on their way out.

Now for the African hope, the Black Stars of Ghana. The team tops the group log but still has to produce a scintillating performance to command respect.

They scraped past Serbia and fell flat against a 10-man Australia.

In the history of the World Cup only two African teams have made the last eight - Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002.

This is after Zaire, now DRC, lost 9-0 to Yugoslavia in the 1974 edition of the World Cup.

Africa, this is certainly not a record to be proud of.

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