Senegal defeated Egypt to clinch a first AFCON title on Sunday night. The west African side ended years of wait when Sadio Mane’s powerful spot kick finally beat Egypt’s Aboul Gabaski to seal a 4-2 shootout victory in Yaounde.
For jinx breaking Coach Aliou Cisse and African Coaches it was a model example of a Nations long term faith in its own. Aliou Cisse was appointed Head Coach of the Senegalese side in 2015 as replacement for Frenchman Alain Giresse .
Blessed with an array of stars to select from, Aliou Cisse enjoyed the trust of the Senegalese football authorities through a Quarter final exit at the 2017 AFCON to a disciplinary record influenced 2018 World Cup group stage exit.
Unlike the impatient nature of Football Federations in Africa and the lack of trust in indigenous coaches, Aliou Cisse retained his place and rallied his star studded squad to go all the way to the final of the 2019 AFCON.
An unfortunate loss to Algeria in the hands of Algeria brought back memories of the 2002 AFCON loss where Aliou Cisse starred alongside the likes of El Hadji Diouf and others who went on to gain the attention of the world at the Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup.
The Senegalese federation kept faith with Cisse to drive the countries push for a first AFCON title in Cameroon. A sustained believe in their man to deliver yielded fruit as Senegals golden generation flew past the Pharaohs to send Senegalese fans into ruptures.
The win will add more feathers to African Coaches and their message of faith and time to deliver. At the just concluded AFCON, 16 of 24 Coaches at the competition were Africans. A pointer to the growing believe in African tacticians.
For the first time since the Glory days of Egypt’s Hassan Shehata (2006, 2008, 2010), African Coaches have supritended over consecutive AFCON title wins for their countries with Algeria’s Djamel Belmadi conquering the continent in 2019 before the baton passed on to then runners up Aliou Cisse of Senegal.
Today, Nigeria has officially Confirmed that interim Manager Austin Eguaveon will continue as Super Eagles technical adviser with Emmanuel Amuneke drafted in as Chief Coach. More African countries will in the coming days trust their national teams in the hand of indigenous coaches
Time will tell how many of this countries will copy the Senegalese model of allowing this coaches time to build , Correct , blend and produce a team capable of Conquering all oppositions. Meanwhile let us allow Alliou Cisse and African Coaches space to revel in their hard fought victory over a system with little faith in Indigenous products.