The Players, Coaches and Teams that failed to impress at AFCON 2024
13 February 2024
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AFCON is well underway. And like every football tournament, especially on the international circuit, players, coaches and nations head into the competition with the dream of being successful and being declared the kings of African football. But already, there have been a number of disappointments, with players, coaches and teams failing to impress.

Ghana and Chris Hughton

Ghana exited the previous AFCON tournament at the group stage, but this time around, and especially with Chris Hughton at the helm, there was hope for better. And when it came to football match betting odds on Hughton’s team achieving some degree of success in the tournament, it looked quite favourable until they were defeated by Cape Verde in a shock result. Things didn’t get much better, with Ghana, one of the strongest teams on paper, registering two draws after that. They were knocked out once again at the group stage, and Hughton was also fired.

Ivory Coast and Jean-Louis Gasset

It had been forty years since Ivory Coast hosted AFCON, so this year was a special one, and a lot of excitement and expectation surrounded the hosts. They were tipped to at least make the final on home soil, and after victory in their tournament opener, two defeats followed, with an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea. While Ivory Coast are still in the competition at the time of writing, the same can’t be said for manager Jean-Louis Gasset. He’s been replaced during the tournament by Emerse Fae.

Victor Osimhen

It’s fair to say that when you’re talking African strikers, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen is right up there with the very best. And many people felt that Nigeria would be in with a chance of success at AFCON if the Napoli attacker were on form in front of goal. However, while Nigeria are going great guns and could be the team to beat in the Ivory Coast, goalscoring form appears to have deserted Osimhen. He’s only scored one goal so far, with goalscoring duties being taken on by Ademola Lookman by the looks of things.

Mohamed Salad

Now, while any player getting injured isn’t usually their fault, it’s still a disappointment. And when it happens to the most high-profile player at AFCON, Liverpool and Egypt talisman Mohamed Salah, it’s probably the biggest disappointment possible. Salah has won most things in football, but not AFCON, and after going close previously, this was the year for him and Egypt. Unfortunately, the Egypt captain was forced off with injury and had to return to Liverpool for treatment in the hope of returning to the tournament further down the line. Unfortunately, Egypt were knocked out at the last sixteen stage on penalties by DR Congo.

International football tournaments always have winners and losers, and it’s arguably what makes them so fascinating. While there’s still a chance for the Ivory Coast and Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen to hit the high notes, the same can’t be said for Ghana and Chris Hughton or Mohamed Salah and Egypt.