North African teams came up short at the African Cup of Nations

Writing in The Guardian, football journalist Jonathan Wilson noted that “… for the first time since 1992, there will be no north African presence in the quarter-finals.” He speculated as to whether this pointed to a “a significant trend of decline in the north African game.” Egypt, “the most successful team in Cup of Nations history, has fallen victim to the political upheaval there,” and did not even make the tournament. (Incidentally, their premier league is restarting this weekend.)  Tunisia failed to qualify in a tough group that included Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Algeria.  Wilson described Algeria’s fate as “staggering unlucky,”  for outplaying both Tunisia and Togo, yet losing to both. As for Morocco, Wilson described their form as “self-destructive as ever” despite that the fact that they never lost a match at Afcon 2013.  Is Wilson right about a decline in north African football? Let’s take my team, Morocco.

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