All too soon another African Cup of Nations is here with us again. I love football and it is the passion of most Africans. Next to religion is football in most African countries.
“We love football. We eat football and eat football. We can even commit suicide if our club loses a crucial league game,” I remember Mohammed Mould, a Zamalek fan telling me when I was doing a sports piece in Egypt last year.
The biggest sporting fiesta of the continent parades all the biggest names in African football that have also dominated the top European leagues. 16 nations are battling it out in 32 fixtures in three weeks for a single cup.
Who lifts the trophy?
As a Ghanaian my preference goes to the Black Stars of Ghana. The West African nation has been struggling for the past 27 years to end their African Nations Cup title drought. The former Gold Coast has lifted the trophy four times and grabbing it for the fifth time this year would be a major World Cup boost.
Injury has not been fair to Ghana and we have to resort to the U-20 World Cup winning youngsters to fill in the gap created by the ruled out regulars. Our chances are slim but with additional effort, endurance and focus we can make a semi-final berth.
Besides Ghana my heart goes to Angola, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria and Egypt in no order of preference.