Africa’s Five World Cup Sides Set for Decisive Friendlies

The African teams at the 2022 World Cup will play two friendlies over the next seven days as they try to finalize their squads for the global tournament to be played in Qatar.

The five countries will use the international break to play their matches before naming their final squads for November’s global tournament.

The quintet have scheduled warm-up games in Europe as the coaches try to get their sides ready for the competition in the Asian country.

With most players playing their craft in Europe, most countries will play their friendlies in European cities to alleviate travel issues.

Several players have been recalled by some national teams to bolster their roster, while other players have been courted with dual nationality to bolster their roster.

Ghana have benefited the most from players changing nationalities. German-born duo Stephan Ambrosius and Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer are available, as well as former Spain star Inaki Williams and former England youth international Tariq Lamptey.

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They should be ready to play for the Black Stars when they face Brazil in France on Friday before traveling to Spain to face Nicaragua on Tuesday.

Also playing against five-time world champions Brazil are Tunisia, whose second opponents in the international break are Comoros.

Carthage Eagles captain Wabhi Khazri says the game against the South Americans in France will give them the tough test needed for the World Cup.

“When I heard the news it was amazing,” Khazri told BBC Sport Africa.

“When we talk about football, we inevitably talk about Brazil because it’s the country of football and the chance to face world-class players.

“It will be a great festival and also a great challenge to compete with the best in the football world. It’s important to play against big teams before the World Cup because you meet the best at the World Cup.”

“It also allows us to see what we’re missing. We can draw conclusions at the end of the game and see what we’re good at and what we can do better.”

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Cameroon have recalled their veteran players Nicolas Nkoulou and George Mandjeck for a warm-up in Asia against home sides South Korea and Uzbekistan.

Nkoulou returns to the Indomitable Lions after a five-year absence, while Mandjeck has been recalled by coach Rigobert Song after his last appearance for the team three years ago.