Ghana’s Boateng and Muntari were sent home after a fracas with coach Kwesi Appiah and a federation official. (REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino)
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Pele's prediction that an African team would win the World Cup before the end of the 20th century did not come to fruition.Four years on it was hoped that African teams could build on this success and make an unprecedented appearance in the coveted semifinals stage. With a continuously growing presence of Africans at top European clubs and a range of players now having experience in multiple World Cups, expectations were running high prior to Brazil 2014 . While there was on-field improvement at this year's tournament, which marked the first time that two African teams progressed to the knockout stages, much of their success was largely overshadowed by mishandled money and match-fixing scandals. Star-studded teams were one of the main ingredients for enthusiasm in the buildup to the World Cup, as Africa now boasts a wide array of players that are employed by top European clubs.Algeria quietly came into this tournament as the highest ranked team on the continent and went on to prove why.The Confederation of African Football is currently lobbying FIFA for a sixth spot at the World Cup. The numbers are on their side, with 56 member associations in Africa and only five places at the World Cup compared to Europe's 54 member associations and 13 places.
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