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African sides pose little threat

After the recent African Nations&#39 Cup, it would app-ear that there is only a slim chance of the African teams causing any serious damage when they get to South Korea and Japan.

Two of the traditionally strong teams, South Africa and Nigeria, were particularly disappointing. South Africa went out in the quarter-finals but did not sack their coach despite much speculation to the contrary.

Nigeria, however, finished third and parted company with Shaibu Amodou, replacing him with former Trinidad and Tobago manager Festus Onigbinde.

There is little time, however, for Onigbinde to work miracles, which is good news for England who are drawn against them in group F.

The only African sides of any class looked to be Senegal and Cameroon although their goalless final, which Cameroon won on penalties, was not of a standard that will scare many. Senegal have classy players but are beset with political problems. Cameroon have gone nine games unbeaten since coach Winfried Schafer took over the side, so maybe the “Indomitable Lions” are a team gathering momentum.

Of the other “little” teams, Costa

Rica are having trouble with club v country issues and are struggling to

get their international team together for friendlies. No such trouble in Japan, however, where 20,000 recently turned up in numbingly cold conditions to watch the national side practicing.


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