AExit lock and corona controls are now forgotten. Thousands of fans on the streets of Moroni celebrated a small game miracle: the Comoros football team from the Indian Ocean Islands team qualified for the Africa Cup for the first time, winning 0-0 in the qualifying group. Togo.
It cannot be said that the team of coach Amir Aptu is playing stars from the sky to achieve the biggest sporting success of the small island nation. In the five group matches so far, the Southeast Africans have scored just four goals, two of which came in a 2-1 win over Kenya in the capital Moroni in mid-November. But the team’s consistent structure was to leave Kenya and former World Cup rival Togo, along with seven-time African champions Egypt, to secure an unbeaten ticket to Cameroon, with matches postponed due to corona in January and February. 2022 is carried out.
“We play to our strengths: discipline, organization and a fantastic team spirit,” says Amir Abdu, who was born in Marseille. He took charge of the team in January 2014 at the age of 43. At that time it was ranked 198th in the world out of 210 countries. Aptu is not a big number either: he has previously only coached in the Sixth French League. Speaking for him, he had Comorian ancestry. In fact, he was only considered an assistant coach. But Henry Stampouli, who was supposed to be the boss, did not want that job. Abdu took it.
“Above all, it makes me happy with the interest our team can create,” Abdu said In a portrait on the FIFA homepage, In which he explained his motivation to work in the small football field: “Behind a national team lies not only a city or a region, but an entire country and the people of an entire nation. It changes everything. ”
The Comoros Union is made up of a group of three islands in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar and has a population of just 850,000. Although the national team has not yet played a role in international competitions, football is by far the most popular sport. The association was only adopted by the World Football Association (FIFA) in 2005. The team consists mainly of players born abroad but with roots in the island nation. 15 of them play in the lower class French teams. Forward Ahmed Mogni, who plays for third division club FC Annecy, is already considered a top man.
With 24 national teams now allowed to take part in the final in Africa, the qualifications of smaller football nations are not as big a surprise as they used to be. The starting places for Cameroon came out as twelve teams of four, with the first two teams qualifying after the first and second rounds.
Served up to 130th place
Meanwhile, the Comoros, under Aptu’s guidance, ranked 130th in the world. After all, they are ranked 36th out of 54 African teams. Now they can beat the team in the final qualifier on Monday in Cairo. In the first round, the islanders, known as the “Colakants”, won 0-0 over their favorite Egyptians.
During the repeated 0-0 win over Togo, police occasionally fired tear gas at the crowd, but they were reportedly not impressed. “No corona, no curfew order,” they shouted. Football for an evening.