The FIFA World Cup tagged Russia 2018, which started on the 14th of June 2018, eventually came to an exciting end on the 15th of July 2018, with an all African team, cum French national team winning the Cup.

There is no doubt that Russia 2018, will remain indelible in the annals of history, as the tournament that sprung many unbelievable surprises. It was a tournament that saw defending champions, Germany exit at the group stage, and other big names like Messi and Ronaldo, having self doubt if their presence were felt at the tournament as they exited far too early, also not forgetting that countries like Argentina, Spain, Portugal and even England, with all the high hopes, had their dreams cut short. There were also new sensations and revelations, the doggedness of the Croatian team, the spectacular skills of players like Mpabbe, Modric, Pogba, Hazard, Musa, etc, and more particularly the astounding performance of the Belgium team, which earned them the third place, and in the process won millions of hearts all over the world. The story of Russia 2018, will also not be complete without giving kudos to the Croatia president, who right now is the current world record holder, as the president who gave the highest number of hugs in a World Cup tournament.

Humans, we know have very short memories, as the highs and lows of Russia 2018, will be talking points for days and probably even months, before everyone will move on to something else.

However, there is a memory that will remain in the hearts of all for many many years to come, and that is the make up of the France team that won the cup. It is evident that the France team was made up of 80% of players, who originally were Africans. There is no doubt, this was the reason why many Africans supported the France team, particularly when the original “African hopefuls” Nigeria and Senegal exited the tournament at an early stage.

The take home lessons for Africa and Africans with regards to the France team and the World Cup, is simply for them to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and a conducive environment, where talents thrive, and not a culture of race, religion, nepotism and “immamadu”, which may have been the bane of many African teams, when selecting players and also the lack of commitment on the part of government, in going above and beyond to ensure players are adequately taken care of.

We therefore join football lovers all over the world to celebrate with our own for bringing the cup home, and thank the organisers and the Russian government for hosting a hitch free round leather game tournament.

 

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