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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

African soccer competition begins

This is a bracket showing the current standings of the tournament. Photo courtesy: Confédération Africaine de Football

On December 18, 2022, the world was glued to their seats. With more than 1 billion people watching, the Fifa World Cup came to a riveting end, with Argentina taking home the trophy after a historical win against France. With the World Cup being one of, if not the most watched sporting events in history, most would assume that continental competitions would get similar attention, but that isn’t always the case. 

With there being over 200 million registered soccer players in the world, the sport is truly an international sport, and this is made clear not only by the World Cup, but also the multitude of continental competitions. The African Cup of Nations, also known as AFCON, is currently ongoing, and many people across the continent, and the world, have tuned in. 

The tournament is a competition between 24 African nations across the span of a month. The 24 teams are split into six groups of four teams, with each team representing a specific country. Each team plays all the other teams in their respective groups, and the two teams with the best record in each group move on to a traditional tournament format, with each team playing a series of matches each progressing to the final. 

While AFCON is not well-known to most RCHS students, a few still have teams they support.

“I support Egypt,” freshman Tawfiq Mibes said. 

Mibes went on to talk about how he believes that AFCON and similar international competitions allow for people to embrace their nationalities and root for their home countries.

Beyond just giving people something to root for, AFCON also allows for nations that oftentimes are going through economic hardship or general poverty to rally around something and come together.

Well, looking at it from a perspective where we’re talking about Africa, I think they’re important because they speak to a higher commitment that some of these countries have to further their sports teams and investing in their sports teams.”

— Aissatou Balde, USC graduate student

“Well, looking at it from a perspective where we’re talking about Africa, I think they’re important because they speak to a higher commitment that some of these countries have to further their sports teams and investing in their sports teams,” USC graduate student Aissatou Balde explained. 

Internationally, national sports teams offer something of utmost importance to a nation. They offer a rallying point, something to, through hardship and tribulation, gather around and root for. According to the World Population Review, 22 African countries are considered dictatorships, and with there being 54 countries on the continent, that means that about 40% of Africa is under oppressive regimes.

To a continent going through as much as Africa, having a competition like this serves to ignite the national pride of people on the continent and around the world and to alleviate the burden of the hardships. 

Now, with the final eight countries in the tournament ready and the two favorites to win eliminated before the quarter-finals, all fans of African soccer are waiting with anticipation for the next fixture of the tournament scheduled for Feb. 2 at 9:00 A.M., where Nigeria plays Angola in the first round of the quarter-finals.

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About the Contributor
Ibrahim Barry
Ibrahim Barry, Staff Reporter
Ibrahim Barry is a freshman at Rancho Cucamonga High School, and this is his first year in journalism. He is a staff reporter for the school newspaper, The Cat’s Eye. His favorite thing about journalism is being able to reach out to the community and give voice to his fellow students. When outside of school, Barry enjoys trying various foods and reading.

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    JeffFeb 1, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    This article is very interesting and the author should get prize. This was very interesting and I like it.