By Patrick Omorodion
West Africa has proved its the stronghold of African football producing seven of the eight quarter-finalists in the 29th Africa Cup of Nations. Only host, South Africa is the odd country of the lot.
Ironically, its regional body, WAFU which has always fluttered seems to have gone into oblivion following struggle for power by its administrators
Incidentally, the region produced half of the 16 countries which qualified to play in the 2013 edition of the Nations Cup, the first in odd number years.
The only country that failed to reach the quarter-final is Niger who were drawn in Group B along Ghana, Mali and DR Congo.
If Niger had been drawn in Group A with host, South Africa, Cape Verde, Morocco and Angola, may they would have joined Cape Verde to qualify as did other WAFU teams like Ghana and Mali in Group B, Burkina Faso and Nigeria in Group C as well as Cote d’Ivoire and Seyi Adebayor-inspired Togo in Group D.
From the quarter-final and semi final pairings, it’s likely the Nations Cup will see an all West African final. From the permutations, South Africa, the outsiders in the equation now, are likely going to meet either Cote d’Ivoire in the semi final if they are able to overcome the Mali hurdle in today’s quarter-final duel.
The winner of today’s Ghana/Cape Verde encounter will meet either Burkina Faso or Togo in the other semi final duel to produce the Nations Cup first WAFU final in history.