All eyes are on Qatar in the run-up to the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which kicks off in the tiny Gulf state in November.
For the first time ever, five African nations will participate in the 2022 World Cup, earning them the nickname ‘Africa’s Big Five.’ They are:
Chipper Cash has teamed up with supporter clubs from three of these countries — Senegal, Cameroon, and Ghana — to send African fans to Qatar and watch their teams live from the stadium seats.
Historically, the World Cup has been dominated by European and South American nations, with countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Argentina, and Brazil lifting the trophy multiple times each. Meanwhile, no African team has ever got further than the quarter-finals.
Could 2022 be the year that all changes? Dare we dream that an African nation could win the World Cup? Let’s take a look at each of the five teams to see how their odds stack up.
The Africa Cup of Nations reigning champions, Senegal, are the African team tipped most likely to win the World Cup.
Despite being the continent’s least experienced nation, with only two World Cup performances to their name, their recent Cup of Nations victory is sure to give them a boost of confidence and motivation.
Former World Cup winner Frank LeBoeuf thinks the Teranga Lions are serious contenders for the coveted prize. Senegalese defender Abdou Diallo hopes to “break the glass ceiling” and become the first African nation to lift the cup.
The team draws inspiration from the 2002 squad that reached the quarter-finals in the Korea-Japan World Cup after beating defending champions France.
Manager Aliou Cissé — who captained the 2002 team — will be pinning his hopes on star goal-scorer Sadio Mane and the safe hands of Eduoard Mendy in goal to bring the trophy home.
The squad is in Group A and will face the Netherlands, hosts Qatar, and Ecuador in the group stage.
Next on the line-up is Cameroon, the most experienced African team going in for their eighth World Cup campaign.
Their most memorable performance was in 1990 when they upset reigning champions Argentina during the opening game and went on to reach the quarter-finals before being knocked out by England.
This time around, they scraped into the competition, beating Algeria on away goals in the third round of qualifiers back in March.
Cameroon is in Group G and will face Switzerland, Serbia, and Brazil in the group stage. This will be their third time playing against Brazil, having been defeated by them at USA 1994 and Brazil 2014. Will it be a case of third time lucky?
The Indomitable Lions, led by manager and former player Rigobert Song, fancy their chances against the South American superstars and have a few star players of their own up their sleeve.
These include Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Bayern Munich, Karl Toko Ekambi of Lyon, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa of Napoli, and Andre Onana of Ajax.
The four-time African champions first qualified for the World Cup back in 2006, returning in 2010, 2014, and now, 2022.
Ghana is in Group H and will face a tough round against former European champions Portugal, Asian heavyweights South Korea, and double world champions Uruguay at the group stage.
Despite the sizeable challenge, former player Rev Kofi Pare believes the Black Stars have a good chance of winning.
Ghana qualified after beating African football giants Nigeria in March. Their star players include captain and forward Andre Ayew — who plays for Al Sadd SC in Qatar — Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, and Brighton Hove and Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey.
While some pundits have placed Ghana’s chances of winning the tournament at just 0.02%, manager Otto Addo and his team hope to prove them wrong.
The Atlas Lions return for their sixth World Cup performance after parting ways with former manager Vahid Halilhodzic just three months before the tournament.
Halilhodzic led the team to the quarter-finals in the 2022 Cup of Nations and secured their place at the World Cup, but left following disagreements over how to prepare for the competition.
The Bosnian’s dismissal has paved the way for Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech to return to the squad, as announced by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in July. Ziyech had retired from the national team earlier this year following a highly publicized spat with Halilhodzic.
Morocco is in Group F and will face stiff competition from Belgium, Croatia, and Canada at the group stage.
2022 will mark the Tunisia squad’s sixth World Cup appearance since their 1978 debut. Their last World Cup campaign was in 2018, when they were eliminated after losing to England and Belgium.
This year, the Carthage Eagles will be hoping to beat their previous performances by progressing beyond the group stage. Tunisia is in Group D and will face Denmark, Australia, and two-time world champions France.
Manager Jalel Kadri is expected to name his squad in October. Fans will be hoping to see Al Arabi forward and national captain Youssef Msakni on the list, along with the likes of Manchester United’s Hannibal Mejbri, Oussama Haddidi of Greuther Fürth in Germany, and Ali Maâloul of Al Ahly in Egypt.
Empowering Africa with Football and Fintech
Regardless of the outcome, Africa’s World Cup qualifying teams will inspire, unite, and empower folks across Africa with their performance.
Chipper Cash shares the vision of empowering and uniting the people of Africa through financial technology — aka fintech — that facilitates low-cost cross-border transfers and easy money management from your mobile phone.
If you want to support Chipper’s campaign to send African fans to Qatar for the World Cup, head over to our campaign page.