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World Cup

Africa will win World Cup if we stop players from representing European countries - Oliech

6:29 PM MYT 21/12/2022
Dennis Oliech of Kenya and Harambee Stars.
Former Kenya captain Dennis Oliech believes an African nation will win the World Cup if they stop their players from playing for European countries.
  • Mbappe with Cameroon roots represented France
  • Origi plays for Belgium despite having Kenyan roots
  • Argentina defeated France to lift the trophy

WHAT HAPPENED? The curtains for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar came down on Sunday in the Gulf nation with Argentina needing penalties to defeat France 4-2 and lift the trophy.

The two teams had tied 3-3 in normal and extra-time and it was forward Kylian Mbappe, who stole the show for Les Bleus notching eight goals to end up with the Golden Boot.

The 23-year-old Mbappe was among the players in the global competition of African origin and had the chance to represent their respective nations. Born to a Cameroonian father, Mbappe was eligible to play for the Indomitable Lions before he settled for France.

According to the 37-year-old Oliech, Africa must use resources available to keep their players and if this happens, the continent will celebrate a World Cup trophy soon.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "Just like our brother Divork Origi plays for Belgium, but comes home to Kisumu and swims in Lake Victoria, speaks sheng, and uses, matatus, these are Africans who are identified in their villages. But in Europe they are working...," Oliech wrote on his Facebook.

"It shows one thing... Just like in athletics, and basketball, where black players rule... A well-resourced team of blacks is unbeatable."

WHAT IS MORE? Oliech, who became Kenya's second all-time goalscorer, behind William "Chege" Ouma (35 goals), with 34 before retiring from international football in 2016, believes France and England are currently doing superb because of African players.

"Truth be told, England is also following France in this trend... And sooner than later, one team from Africa will have enough resources to maintain their players and stop them from going to Europe... That team will win the World Cup..."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: In 2004, Oliech, who played for Nantes, AJ Auxerre, and Ajaccio turned down an offer to change citizenship and feature for the Qatar national team. The Gulf nation had offered him a hefty offer of Ksh890 million.

WHAT NEXT? With the World Cup done and dusted, focus will shift to the European leagues.