The French advantage

Academic and soccer fan Andrew Guest previews the 2012 African Cup of Nations for Football is Coming Home. He points to the French influence on teams that qualfied for the finals that start later this week. The post that comes complete with a table illustrating his findings: “The French influence this year seems ubiquitous; 9 of 16 teams have Francophone history, the largest delegation of foreign coaches are French (4, compared to 7 locals—which is a fairly significant local contingent compared to recent tournaments), and 8 of 15 squads draw more players from French professional teams than from any other foreign league system (the 16th squad — Sudan — has an entirely domestic roster).

Read the post in full here.

The image above is of Moussa Sow, Lille and Senegal striker.



Sean Jacobs

Also goes by Hasan Wazan. Life President.

  1. Great analysis Sean!
    It would be great if you could write an extending piece on the complex connection Football/soccer – sub-Sahara Africa – France. Here is a short tale to start from: It is said that the former French president Jacques Chirac somehow convince Paul Biya, the president of Cameroon to appoint Roger Milla Ambassador-at-large of Cameroon. Chirac flew down to Cameroon with Milla during one of his official visit there and somehow that lead to Milla’s appointment as Ambassador-at-large of Cameroon. The treatment of Roger Milla during his years as a professional football/soccer player in France is widely known! You can go dig it up.

  2. I don’t think there is any complex connection football/France/Africa, at least nothing specific to football. As football is more than a matter of life and death in may countries, politicians use it for their own pruposes: Roger Milla was famous, so the president wanted to have him on his side.
    26/49 countries in Africa are francophone vs. 17 anglophone. Therefore it is likely that there are more francophones than anglophones or lusophones countries.
    And because the new FIFA rule now allows dual citizens to switch if they have not played in senior national team, many players choose to play for their parent’s country (Senegal: Niang, Ba, Sow, Faty, Armand Traore, Gomis, Diame, Mbengue, Sane, Diawara)

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