By Muluh Alfred
The past two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations have been won by African coaches, a pattern which still has a possibility to continue in the 2023 AFCON.
As much as the Super Eagles led by Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro are considered favourites of the final against Ivory Coast, a win by the hosts will maintain the trend.
Since Belgian tactician Hugo Broos lifted the trophy with Cameroon in 2017, only coaches of African origin have emerged champions over the past two editions.
Djamel Belmadi won with Algeria in 2019, while Aliou Cisse gave Senegal their first title in 2021.
A total of 24 coaches participated in the AFCON 2023, with 13 out of the total being of African origin while the rest were foreign coaches.
Surprisingly, of the 13 African coaches who led their teams in the AFCON, 10 of them made it to the round of 16 including coaches from Morocco, Cameroon, and Egypt, Sénégal while six teams led by foreign coaches made it to the round of 16.
As the competition progressed to the q
uarter-finals the numbers evened out, Six home-based coaches and two foreign coaches were eliminated, leaving four of each group going into the quarter-finals.
In the semi-finals, only one home-based coach, the coach of Ivory Coast, qualified. In contrast, three foreign coaches led their teams to the semi-finals, including the head coaches of Nigeria, South Africa, and DR Congo.
Now, as the tournament comes closer to crowning a champion, the exciting final of the AFCON will be contested between coach Jose Peseiro of Nigeria, a foreign coach, and coach Emerse Fae a home based coach who took over Ivory Coast after the group stage.
This tense battle between two respected coaches from distinct backgrounds will add another layer of excitement to the already thrilling tournament as the final match determines this year’s champions of Africa.
Source: Cameroon News Agency