BY KUNLE SOLAJA
A silent revolution is happening in African football. Never before had a country concurrently held all men’s national teams titles.
That is exactly what is unfolding today as Senegal go for their fifth concescutive African title within a space of 13 months.
Today in Cairo, they face Gambia in the championship match of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. In their likely win, they will be holding the Under 20 Afcon title in addition to the Africa Cup of Nations Cup they won last year February in Cameroon; the African Nations Championship Cup they won in Algeria last month; the African Beach Soccer title they won for a record seventh time last year October in Mozambique.
The Under 20 Cup final today will be the fourth African title they will be holding simultaneously. It will aslo be the first time they will be winning the cup.
Apart from those four, Senegal are still in line for the African U17 title holding next month in Algeria.
Senegal are also in pole position for the African U23 championship as they will next week meet Mali to qualify for the finals holding in Africa’s ultimate football tourism destination, Morocco.
Victories in those competitions will make it six titles for Senegal!
Today’s final of the U-20 Africa Cup could best be described as internal issue within what was initially moving towards a merger of two countries.
They may as well be a single country as Gambia is enclosed almost entirely by Senegal except for the western part which dots into the Atlantic Ocean.
Both initially moved towards a union to form SeneGambia confederation on 1 February 1982 following an agreement between the two countries signed on 12 December 1981.
It was intended to promote cooperation between the two countries, but was dissolved by Senegal on 30 September 1989 after the Gambia refused to move closer toward union.
Thus, what ever the outcome of today’s match, it is a SeneGambia win. Both have a denominator – They have not conceded any goal in the tournament and are also at the top in goal scoring. Senegal have scored 12 goals so far while The Gambia have 10.