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Report: Africa Cup of Nations 2015

Rankings mean nothing in day eight of CAN

Mali's Bakary Sako with Cote D'Ivoire's Ismaël Diomandé.
Mali's Bakary Sako with Cote D'Ivoire's Ismaël Diomandé. Le Malien Bakary Sako face à l'Ivoirien Ismaël Diomandé.

On day eight of CAN, here are five things we've learned.

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Rankings mean nothing

Mali are in 49th place n the world rankings of FIFA. That’s 21 places below Cote D’Ivoire. It was the Ivorians who needed a goal four minutes from time to rescue their tournament.

They’ve both got two points after two games. For the final fling on Wednesday, Cote D’Ivoire face Cameroon in Malabo and Mali play guinea in Mongomo.

D is not for domination. It is for draws.

Group D, like all the other groups, will go down to the wire. But unlike the others all four matches in Group D have ended in 1-1 stalemates. All the teams have two points. So if the last two matches end 1-1, the way to solve things is hardly hi-tech, they have to draw lots.

Group D permutations 2

They are a wonder to behold. Obviously all is clear if there are some victories next Wednesday in Group D. If one team wins and the other game is a draw, then lots will be drawn to decide which of those two teams qualify. If both games are draws, but one is higher scoring, both sides in that game will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Awards mean nothing

Yaya Touré is the African player of the year. He’s won the bauble four years on the trot. But the Ivorian midfield maestro must be getting sick of the thing because it doesn’t seem to be bringing good fortune.

He first claimed the prize in 2012 and went into the CAN that year gleaming with its lustre. Cote D’Ivoire was undone in the final by an otherworldly performance from the Zambians. Touré was the head honcho in 2013 and the Ivorians fared no better in South Africa.

Get your elbows out, it’s the new way to shake hands

Because of the Ebola epidemic – which frightened Morocco out of hosting this year’s CAN – there are quite a few measures and people out in Equatorial Guinea trying to tell the population about how to prevent the spread of the disease.

The review has bumped into an operative from UNICEF who is going around the four sites monitoring how the initiatives are being implemented. He told us that the original idea to take everyone’s temperature has been scrapped. But they’ve continued with the hand gel jolly. He also showed us how the anti-Ebola way to say hello and goodbye.

You have to crunch elbows. Less moisture.

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