Well, it’s been a long time coming, but one of the greatest and certainly the world’s most popular sporting spectacles, is finally upon us. After enduring hours of qualifying fixtures, 32 teams (736 players) have fought their way through to participate in Africa’s first ever staging of the FIFA World Cup tournament. In the build up, we’ve seen giants slain and minnows turned national heroes; though we’ll miss the likes of Russia and the talents of stars such as Michael Essien, come the time for kick off there will be no shortage of stardust and the visitors to the motherland will experience an atmosphere like no other.
My own road to the World Cup has not been without its ups and downs… I’ve had to climb mountains of work, watch volcanic ash and airline strikes ground potential flights, and worst of all, I’ve had to leave my girlfriend behind as I embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime football pilgrimage. Now it’s here and I can feel it!
Personally, it’ll be an honour to see 5 African nations compete (South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Algeria) and I welcome this amazing opportunity for cultural exchange – for the world to see another side of Africa in what will undoubtedly be an incredibly colourful and vibrant event. And yes, it is a winter World Cup… but rest assured this will not stop the party – after 64 matches played in four weeks, there’ll only be one team left standing as World Champions.
It’s Ayoba time!