Date: 19 January 2017 03:36
IN PORT-GENTIL, GABON
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations officially got underway last Saturday but it seems the clean run of wins is still missing.
Before Uganda kicked their first Afcon ball in 39 years here on Tuesday night, only two victories had been registered in six matches.
But for those that push the baton for indigenous versus overseas coaches, the first round of group matches has surely been taken by the natives.
Only four coaches out of 16 in charge of as many national teams at this 31st edition of the Nations Cup are African.
“I think we as countries in Africa have to have more belief in our local coaches,” Zambian soccer legend Kalusha Bwalya said earlier.
“Train them well and then have patience when we give them the hard task of managing their national teams.”
The number of local coaches in this tournament increased from the 2015 edition only by one.
It is early days but after the first round of group matches; they can part themselves on the back.
More so because the two aforementioned victories in six matches have been engineered by African-bred coaches.
Aliou Cisse’s Senegal were in an unforgiving mood on Sunday as they scored two quick goals to see off Polish Henryk Kasperczak’s Tunisia in Franceville.
Florent Ibenge’s DRC also edged Frenchman Herve Renard’s Morocco 1-0 on Monday in Oyem to make it two wins for indigenous coaches against their overseas counterparts.
No indigenous coach was involved in Wednesday’s matches – Ghana versus Uganda and Egypt versus Mali.
However, this is a marathon of a tournament, and it is just round one of the group stage matches.
What matters is the performance over the entire tournament, and ultimately the main prize come February 5 in Libreville when two teams battle for Africa’s biggest football prize.
COACHES AT CUP OF NATIONS
Zimbabwe - Callisto Pasuwa (Zimbabwe)
Guinea Bissau - Baciro Cande (Guinea Bissau)
Senegal - Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
D.R Congo - Florent Ibenge (D.R Congo)
Gabon - Jose Antonio Camacho (Spain)
Morocco - Herve Renard (France)
Algeria - Georges Leekens (Belgium)
Cameroon - Hugo Broos (Belgium)
Burkina Faso - Paulo Duarte (Portugal)
Tunisia - Henryk Kasperczak (Poland)
Ivory Coast - Michel Dussuyer (France)
Togo - Claude Le Roy (France)
Uganda - Milutin Sredojevic (Serbia)
Ghana - Avram Grant (Israel)
Mali - Alain Giresse (France)
Egypt - Hector Cuper (Argentina)