Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ask Durosimi

As many of you know, I'm a neophyte when it comes to African football.
I'm learning a lot, but there's still so much I don't know about African soccer on the road to the 2010 Final.

So I trust other people to get me news, like Reuters' excellent African football journalist Mark Gleeson or the eyes and ears of the BBC's wonderful sports writers.

Today, I ask you to turn to the BBC's Durosimi Thomas, who's stationed out in Ghana for the upcoming Cup of Nations. Thomas is a Sierra Leonean based in Accra who has reported on African soccer — for BBC Sport and several other publications — for 15 years.

He's answering reader's questions about the tournament, from who are the star players to watch out for to who'll win the whole thing.

Make sure to ask Mr. Thomas a question. He knows what he's talking about and might provide that little bit of insight that'll startle your friends!

Below, a snippet of Q and A's from his recent columns. Enjoy.

Durosimi, who do think will be the surprise team and striker of the Africa Cup of Nations 2008?
Harry Banda, Zingalume, Lusaka, Zambia

Durosimi: Watch out for Namibia, Benin and Sudan. Surprise striker? For that the list is endless and we have to wait and see.

Though Nigeria tops the African FIFA ranking, I personally don't think they are playing their best form. Do you think Nigeria will be able to match their previous Nations Cup form and make it to a bronze medal at the least?
Titi Tade, Lagos, Nigeria

Durosimi: You're right Nigeria were not convincing during the qualifiers and because of that I have not tipped them to win the tournament. But it's football and don't be surprised if they whip the favourites.

What are your views on the Sudanese national teams chances this year?
Ahmed Aburunnat, London

Durosimi: Sudan should not be under-estimated. I am aware that the first thing that comes to mind is Darfur, but Sudan are physically fit and have a couple of skilful players like Faisal Agab and Haitham Mostafa. Above all, they have self-belief and that is an invaluable quality.

How do you rate the stadia to be used during the tournament?
Joshua, Kent England

Durosimi:The Accra venue is the only one that I've been to since its inauguration and that is a massive improvement on the old stadium. I've also spoken to Tunisian officials and they spoke highly of the stadium in Tamale. What preoccupies the authorities now is how to maintain the facilities for future events after the Nations Cup.


JF said...

its hotting up alright, looking forward to it - check the tournament preview here:

Percy Punty said...

check out has a brilliant african nations section