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The Afcon draw highlights all the shortcomings of the 24 team format

As the ball comes out, the fate of the National Cup team next year will also be revealed, and it is impossible for people not to feel overwhelmed.

In the days and hours before the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (remember, this will be held in 2022), people may have some anticipation.

After all, delay will only arouse appetite.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, worries about Cameroon’s preparations, and any thoughts about the late changes in the game time to make the game as scheduled, fans across the continent can only play with their thumbs and get bragging rights in the game. the Internet.

Therefore, this painting represents a clear sunlight shining through the gray.

Then the ball came out of the bowl, and reality hit with a dull, indifferent crash.

2021 will be the second time 24 teams have been on Afcon. As a format, it is still somewhat novel, so it retains its inherent weirdness. In short, logically speaking, this is a nightmare-it is possible that a few days after the last group game, many teams will not know whether they will stay or leave-and mathematically.

Patrice Motsepe, February 2021

Sports integrity is also affected.

Four of the six third-placed teams will advance on the basis of goal difference, but the important background is lost when this elimination method is adopted.

In 2019, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo both ended the game with 3 points, but the East African team was eliminated, although they faced a stronger group (they fell behind the two teams that will continue to participate in the finals) that caused them The reason for the weaker goal difference; In contrast, the Panthers’ opponents in Uganda and Egypt have to deal with it much easier.

In addition, playing 20 games just to eliminate eight teams didn’t help much, and what’s more shocking was that there was no real danger in the group stage.

The idea of ​​a “dead group” itself is meaningless-any top team needs to pay too much, because the pot allocation based on rankings is further isolated and fails to stand out from their respective groups.

In 2019, despite failing to win a match, Benin emerged from Group F (and then entered the quarter-finals). The threshold is really that low.

Ghanaian defender Andy Yadom and Benin

Therefore, we are saddled with six groups, although the narrative is rich, but the conspiracy is lacking.

Except for the confrontation between the 1st and 2nd teams, there is nothing to look forward to in the game on the field.

Algeria and Côte d’Ivoire may be a tie in the group stage, because they will repeat the quarter-final classic two years ago.

The unforgettable grief of Baghdad Bounedjah was a key image of a tense game, but since then fennel Has achieved an absolute advantage, won the second championship, and maintained an undefeated record, currently has reached 27 games.

They are once again the team to be defeated, fighting to retain Afcon-this is the last feat achieved by rival Egypt in 2010.

2019 AFCON Finals Algeria

In the semifinals, the Pharaoh certainly defeated Algeria in the semifinals. For the seven-time champion under the leadership of Hassan Shehata, that was an even more exciting moment.

Today, their performance in the second gear shows that they are more humble in terms of talent and performance. Nigeria’s Super Eagles will appreciate their chance to keep their feathers intact in Group D, and may even find that their recent poor record against Egypt in a competitive match may be exactly what they lost in the semi-finals of 2019. That kind of statement.

This is indeed most of the function of the group stage: to provide strength for the knockout.

The only group that may not be established is Group C. Ghana’s recent confidence and identity crisis may make them the victims of the Comoros fairy tale and Gabon’s Buanga-Aubameyang double performance.

Coach CK Akonnor is a man who has been criticized in his hometown, and he is trying to bring about generational change during this period. In a sense, his only option is to surrender to uncertainty or mediocrity, so given this format, his best option is probably to start cautiously and slowly introduce more exciting as progress is made. element.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Gabon, Guinea-Bissau 14012017

The hosts Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia should all be at the top of their respective logs, as should Algeria and Nigeria mentioned earlier.

As far as dark horses are concerned, Gabon will be optimistic about their chance of making their debut: there is an Italian-style crop offensive genius, which helps to overwhelm the dull Mauritania and surprise the talented Mali team, but the Mali team is subject to coach Mohamed. The restrictions of Magasuba.

Cape Verde has proven that they have defeated Cameroon this year, and their lives are as pleasant as kidney stones.

However, they are different from their stronghold in Praia, less impressive and not inclined to try to impose themselves.

If they can, they will find that Group A is very forgiving: Burkina Faso is not the kind of strength they had between 2013 and 2017, and Ethiopia is really just here, because Niger chose the last one in qualifying The match day kept Madagascar for their first away match since 2015.

However, in the final analysis, although there is some controversy about this format and its possible impact on the growth of some of the smaller teams on the African continent, the game between Cape Verde and Ethiopia will not arouse many people’s imagination. audience.

In this regard, Sudan will not play against Guinea-Bissau either. On the contrary, it feels like we are entering another qualifying round, but this time there is no usual home and away format. In the long run, it is likely to work wonders for African football-which is still a dubious claim in itself-but it has little effect on the duration of attention.


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