If you thought the Home Nations had a poor run of things recently then spare a thought to the fans of Cameroon and Morocco who have slipped to embarrassing first leg deficit’s in Qualifying for the African Nations in 2013.
The news will come as music to the ears of Norwich, Tottenham, QPR, Aston Villa and Liverpool fans as they may now no longer have to worry about several of their players being missing for an inconvenient period halfway through the season.
Both the African powerhouses lost their away ties 2-0 to lowly opposition in Cape Verde and Mozambique. Cameroon; who are the national team of Sebastian Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Stephane M’Bia lost to the side ranked 65th in the world, with an unfortunately nicknamed Fredson Jorge Ramos Tavares, aka ‘Fock’, in goal leaving them an uphill challenge to qualify for the competition in South Africa.
The goals for the Blue Sharks came courtesy of Ricardo and Djaniny (who!?) both currently plying their trade in the former Cape Verdean colonial country of Portugal with Pacos de Ferreira and Olhanense (who!?) respectively.
Morocco; who have Adel Taarabt, Karim El Ahmadi, Oussama Assaidi and the estranged Arsenal striker Maraoune Chamakh amongst their ranks, went down to another former Portuguese colony as Mozambique swept them aside. The goals came from Almiro Lobo and Domingues (who!?) of respective South African sides Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns (you get the point).
The Mambas are ranked 109 in the world at the moment, making this defeat a poorer result than that of the Indomitable Lions for the Atlas Lions (why do African sides have such cool nicknames?).
Indeed the embarrassment was palpable for the teams and that has been reciprocated by their respective governing bodies and fans with Cameroon dismissing head coach Denis Lavagne and calls for Belgian Eric Gerets to lose his position with Morocco.
The second leg of the ties are next month and while the fans of the respective nations may be hoping for incredible turnarounds; at home Premier League followers may be wishing for Cape Verde and Mozambique to finish off their more illustrious opponents in style and release their top players from the privileged shackles of representing their Nations on the continent.
Man City fans hoping for similar news you might just be on to something, as a 4-2 home win leaves them in a precarious position in their away leg with the difficult Senegal team. The Elephants team includes Yaya Toure, who would be sorely missed at The Etihad but the Lions of Teranga (again the nicknames!) will look to dump them out of the competition at the qualifying stage, bad news for Newcastle fans with Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba in their ranks.
Come October there may be a few Premier League fans supporting obscure African nations in order to receive the least amount of damage to their domestic campaigns.
image: © marc_tacoma