Africa’s Olympic Football Hopes

Posted November 29th, 2011 at 3:10 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

While an African football team has never won the World Cup, the sport’s biggest prize, neighbors Nigeria and Cameroon can proudly claim Olympic gold medals in men’s soccer at the 1996 Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Nwankwo Kanu

The 1996 Nigerian Olympic team, captained by two-time African Footballer of the Year Nwanko Kanu, defeated Argentina, 3-2, in the final. Argentina, winner of the past two Olympic football titles, gained some revenge by beating Nigeria, 1-0, on a goal by Angel Di Maria in the 58th minute of the 2008 final in Beijing, China.

Millions of Nigerian soccer fans would love to see their team get another shot at an Olympic gold medal next year in London, but first the squad has to qualify. The inaugural African Under-23 Championship is currently taking place in Morocco. The eight-team competition is doubling as a qualifying event for the London Games.

The top-three African teams in Morocco will advance to the 2012 Olympics, while the fourth-place finisher goes into a playoff against an Asian side. In addition to Nigeria, the seven other teams competing are Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Africa and host Morocco. The semifinals are scheduled for December 6 and December 7, and the final on December 10 in Marrakech, Morocco.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

One response to “Africa’s Olympic Football Hopes”

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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