The trend continues with international football tournaments. In fact, I have written and blogged about these bad ideas on more than one occasion.
UEFA decided it was a good idea to expand the European Championship to twenty-four teams in 2016 and the Asian Football Confederation followed suit as twenty-four national teams participated in the 2019 Asian Cup.
We all know that the World Cup will be expanded to forty-eight teams in 2026 and sadly, it seems as if the 2022 World Cup will include forty-eight teams as well.
I have written my reasons before as to why it is not a good idea. But who is going to listen?
Anyway, the five biggest outsiders of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations are the following national teams: Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Burundi.
I took the time to look at the latest rosters of these national teams, but first I will start with Tanzania and Namibia.
The Tanzanian national team has footballers mostly plying their trade in Tanzania while others play in different African countries.
Captain Mbwana Samatta plays for Genk in the top-flight of Belgium, but he will need plenty of help against Senegal, Algeria, and Kenya.
Namibia’s roster is basically full of footballers playing in South Africa and Namibia. Sorry, but I don’t have much to add.
Madagascar and Burundi have been placed in Group B with Nigeria and Guinea.
The Madagascar roster is full of footballers that play in the lower leagues of France while the roster of Burundi is scattered with footballers playing in various African countries.
But it is worth pointing out that Burundian forward Saido Berahino currently plays for Stoke City in the second level of football in England.
As for Guinea-Bissau, it is not surprising that the former Portuguese colony is full of footballers plying their trade in the different levels of football in Portugal.
Captain Zezinho currently plays for FK Senica in Slovakia and midfielder Pele of Monaco was recently loaned out to Nottingham Forest.
Out of all the outsiders in the Africa Cup of Nations, I give Guinea-Bissau the best chance to advance to the knockout phase.
It will be an interesting tournament and I am looking forward to seeing what the outsiders can do.