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Image SCORE4africa looks back on an extraordinary year for Africa and explores the challenges facing the sport on the continent.


SCORE4africa celebrates the role that football plays in driving African development – not only as a recruitment and retention too for development work, but it also acknowledges the contributions of the football world, particularly those of African players, through their foundations and other charity work.

The 2010 SCORE4africa Special Awards honoured some of the key personalities who helped to deliver an unprecedented year for African football.

Football and African Development

Following the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa during 2010, the most amazing sporting spectacle on the continent, issues of legacy are coming to the fore and in its first event, held late in 2010 at the offices of Reed Smith LLP in the City of London, SCORE4africa convened a specially invited audience from the world of football and beyond to look back on an extraordinary year for African football.

Over lunch, expert presentations on African football explored the progress of the sport and highlighted some of the constraints the sport faces in its development.

In his opening remarks, Onyekachi Wambu of SCORE4africa, one of the fundraising arms of the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), highlighted the link between football, Africa and development.

"One third of the UK's Premier League is driven by African or African descended talent, many from the poorest and most marginalized communities on the continent," he said.

With FIFA having earned around $2 billion dollars from the 2010 World Cup, he added, football is a huge business and one that we can begin to engage with in a developmental way in order to impact on issues such as social cohesion, racism, tolerance and emerging talent.

"How can we help those who don't become the next Didier Drogba? How can we help governments use football to drive development as South Africa did with its infrastructure in the lead up to the World Cup?' he asked.

Football in Africa

In his presentation, Emmanuel Maradas of Chad, a media consultant and the holder of the CAF Oder of Merit, noted that prior to the awarding of the tournament to host South Africa, Morocco had twice failed to win the bid for the World Cup. South Africa, by working hard and investing almost US$9 billion, had succeeded for Africa.

"How can we help those who don't become the next Didier Drogba? How can we help governments use football to drive development as South Africa did with its infrastructure in the lead up to the World Cup?"


A former journalist, Maradas launched African Soccer magazine in 1992 and in 1998 was appointed as a member of the FIFA and Confederation of African Football media committees. Maradas was a passionate supporter of the South African campaign to stage the 2010 World Cup and was a FIFA Media Officer throughout the finals.

Recalling that the whole process had been "a tough ride", Maradas recounted his efforts to bring the continent behind South Africa's efforts; a process that saw him visit 39 countries in Africa with the World Cup trophy and meet 27 heads of state.

"The World Cup has brought hope and now people can talk positively about Africa," he said. "The legacies of the Cup are enormous and a number of FIFA umbrella programmes are helping the football family of national associations and addressing a number of social issues."

Infrastructure and Development

"In most sub-Saharan countries, football is the king of sport," said Ade Daramy, a Sierra Leonean journalist and broadcaster, in his presentation.

ImageFormerly a co-presenter of the BBC World Service's flagship African sports programme Fast Track, Daramy has written numerous articles on African football for over 25 years.

National governments, he urged, should harness the enthusiasm and passion for the game into concerted efforts to improve football infrastructure, he said, referring to degraded stadiums and poorly maintained facilities for players and fans.

The staging of the World Cup in Africa, said the third panelist, Jonathan Wilson, is an achievement that should not be underestimated as it brings African football a new respect.

"It has been an extraordinary year for Africa," the journalist, presenter and writer said. "Just the fact that South Africa has hosted the World Cup is of huge symbolic importance."

Whatever the legacy on the ground, he added, the symbolic legacy is huge as it changed the mentality of the world.

"We went to Africa looking for a fairy tale and the fact that Ghana got so close made the story easier to write", Wilson said.


Wilson has been attending the African Cup of Nations competition since 2002 and as a writer for publications including the Guardian and Sport Illustrated, he has reported widely on the development of the modern African game. His book, ‘Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics' was named football book of the year in 2009. Image

In his presentation Wilson pointed out that at national level, there are still a number of problems within African football, citing corruption, disorganisation, a sense of individualism among players and political interference.

Corruption, he said, is often seen as agents make strenuous efforts to get players onto teams. It can also occur when the flow of money from governments to players becomes disorganized and where some football academies run scams or give unrealistic guarantees of success.

"Many players are narcissistic and looking for a chance to play in Europe, and they are therefore less focused on team interests," he commented. "Everybody wants to sell themselves as soon as possible and the best way to do that is to score goals. A lack of team spirit makes it impossible to create winners."

What brought Ghana's team its success, he said, was a "combination of discipline and the pipeline of youth coming through."

The Power of Football

Football has so much power in Africa that even heads of state and senior officials fear the backlash from a poor national performance, observed Wilson. This, in turn, puts enormous pressure on the game and its players, leading to short-termism and unreal expectations.

"Africa's most successful six teams have changed coaches 24 times in three years," he noted.

The instability is worsened by the general lack of respect accorded to home grown coaches, said Wilson, citing Algeria as the only team that had a domestic coach.



Wilson added that the current lack of a coaching infrastructure where coaches can themselves be better trained, is a key factor in developing coaching talent.

"The long-term prognosis concerns me," he said. "And yet when you have these doubts, you see the World Cup take place in Africa and you see that great things can be achieved."

Over the coming months in a series of events and meetings, SCORE4africa will assess the real impact of the World Cup on Africa and the continuing power of sport (especially football) to transform lives. http://score4africa.org/?p=home
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