Africa’s group-stage failure stems from lack of resources and talent drain | Football

One could curse Japan for their dishonourable exploitation of the rules at Senegal’s expense. Naughty Japan! And quibble about refereeing decisions that went against Morocco. Bad VAR! But the fact is Africa has no representatives in the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time in 36 years and no one is surprised.

Each country and team has its specificities but there are also problems shared by many nations in a confederation that has more members than any other continental body but the same number of participants in the last 16 as Oceania. When the World Cup is expanded to 48 teams the Confederation of African Football will argue for an increased allocation but it is better not to dwell on its countries’ results in Russia.

It would be wrong to extrapolate too much from one…

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