Africa eye more berths

Africa eye more berths

Africa's hopes of increased future World Cup representation rest heavily on achievement in Brazil this year where five countries seek to break new ground and force FIFA's hand.

To do so, however, African teams will have to do vastly better than the disappointing return of four years ago, where they failed to take advantage of a World Cup on home soil and largely disappointed.

This year, the draw has been favourable for the African sides except for the continent's form team Ghana, who face Germany, Portugal and the United States in a tough group.

Algeria, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria are all confident of advancing to the knockout phase while it is never sure what can be expected from mercurial Cameroon, who are the first African side in action when they play Mexico in Natal on Friday.

Agitation for more World Cup places for African countries has been simmering for some time but past performances have largely dampened it. Only three African countries have made it to the quarterfinals of a World Cup.