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World Cup: Ghana win over USA one of few bright spots for Africa

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IN PICTURES: 10 World Cup players to watch

“It’s all about organization and planning,” says James Wokabi, a Kenyan football commentator for Supersport, the pan-African satellite broadcaster which has been screening the World Cup. Four of the six teams have changed their coach in the last nine months. “Ivory Coast had a coach who did not know his team. He met them in May. The same for Nigeria. It took him two games to figure out who to play but then it was too late. Ghana is the only team that has had the same coach for the last two and a half years. They had a proper plan.”

Patrick Mboma, a former striker who played for Cameroon when they won Olympic gold in 2000, bemoaned the lack of investment in youth development. “We need to give young boys a chance to develop their talents,” says Mr. Mboma, who is in South Africa to promote 1Goal, a global campaign for education.

Few African countries have proper academies and most talented teenagers move to European clubs at a young age. Local leagues tend to be poorly organized and badly funded, attracting few fans and with players often going unpaid. They also face competition from European leagues, particularly the English Premier League, which are beamed into bars and homes across Africa every weekend. Fans from Dar es Salaam to Douala tend to prefer to watch European football on television rather than a national league match at the stadium.

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