For the first time since 1982, there is likely to be no African selection in the last 16 of the World Cup.
To avoid this fiasco, all the hopes of the continent are based on Senegal playing its destiny against Colombia on Thursday.
With the painful elimination of Nigeria on Tuesday against Argentina (1-2), Africa lost its penultimate chance of qualifying for the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup.
From now on, all hopes rest on Senegal which will have to at least ensure Thursday’s draw against Colombia. If the Teranga Lions failed, the record of this World Cup would be dramatic for African football.
Indeed, since 1986 there has always been at least one representative of the continent who managed to extricate himself from the first round: Morocco in 1986, Cameroon in 1990, Nigeria in 1994, Nigeria again in 1998, the Senegal in 2002, Ghana in 2006, Ghana in 2010, and Algeria and Nigeria in 2014. The last time all African nations stayed at the docks was 36 years ago, at the 1982 World Cup.
There were then only 24 participants and the format was very different (two group stages and then the semi-finals).
Such an underperformance would mark a bitter backtrack for the continent as two African teams managed to reach the 8th finals for the first time 4 years ago…
Before “Russia 2018”, some observers dreamed of see a team from the continent finally cross the pitfall of the quarter-finals. From now on, it remains mostly to avoid the zero point… Tomorrow, it is a continent that will be behind the Lions of Teranga.