The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be momentous for the African continent since local coaches will be in charge of all five of the countries that have reserved tickets for the world spectacle. African coaches have finally had the bravery to assume leadership at the highest level, which is a huge step forward for their development.
Walid Regragui, Morocco
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) recently selected the 47-year-old as the head coach of the Atlas Lions. The former Moroccan international succeeded Vahid Halilhodi, who had assisted the squad to qualify for the showpiece.
Walid took over the national team following a productive campaign in the top division of Morocco, where he guided Wydad Athletic Club to both the local championship and the CAF Champions League crown. Morocco has been placed in Group F for the World Cup, where it will compete against Croatia, Belgium, and Canada.
Aliou Cissé, Senegal
The current African champions have been led by a former player, since Aliou Cissé took over as head coach in 2015. Eight years later, the former captain of the national team guided them to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations victory, and the choice paid off when he was crowned coach of the year at the CAF Awards in July.
He qualified the Lions of Teranga for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and he will lead them to the tournament for a second time in a row.
Rigobert Song, Cameroon
Rigobert Song, who was hired on February 28, 2022, will go down in history as the second Cameroonian coach to have assisted the Indomitable Lions in reaching the FIFA world cup.
The first Cameroonian to lead the country to the World Cup was the late Léonard Nseke, who led the squad the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
Song’s appointment sent tongues wagging. However, the World Cup qualification turned out to be the outcome he needed to dissuade many who had previously questioned the hiring decision.
Jalel Kadri, Tunisia
Jalel Kadri, a former player, assisted the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in reaching the World Cup for the sixth time in history. Just after Burkina Faso eliminated Tunisia from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, Kadri was named head coach. He quickly started to rebuild, which enabled Tunisia to recover from its setback and reach the World Cup. He is the third local coach to assist Tunisia in reaching the World Cup.
Otto Addo, Ghana
Following Ghana’s victory over highly favored Nigeria, Otto Addo, a former Ghanaian international, showed coaching prowess to help the Black Stars go to the World Cup. He was appointed head coach of the squad following Ghana’s group-stage elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations, succeeding Milovan Rajevac.
The tactician, who is also an assistant coach at Bundesliga club Dortmund in Germany, came up with a flawless tactical plan to outperform a very talented Nigerian team during the qualification phase. He now has everything to prove when he leads the Ghanaian team in Qatar.
The five African coaches’ participation in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is a significant step in the growth of African football. This is sufficient evidence that, when and if given the chance, local expertise can also work effectively.
This will also be a chance for the entire globe to learn about African tacticians’ skills and a stamp of approval for the Confederation of African Football’s coach-training program for Africans (CAF).