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Africans shine at Netball World Cup; raising eyebrows why the sport missing from African Games alongside Rugby, Hockey

African teams

2019 Netball World Cup:

(Liverpool, England: 12 July – 21 July)

(Latest Group results)

 South Africa: ranked 5th beat Jamaica 55-52, ranked 2nd

Zimbabwe: ranked 13th beat Northern Ireland 51-49, ranked 8th

Uganda: ranked 6th beat Scotland 52-43, ranked 7th

Malawi: ranked 9th beat Barbados 65-41, ranked 11th

AFRICAN teams; South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi are doing well in the ongoing 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

A clean sweep of victories for the Africans in the last round of the Group stage was telling the world to take note. In the next round, also group stage involving the final 12 teams (6 in each pool), the Africans are expected to continue their good performance.

Top: African teams in 2019 Netball World Cup action, clockwise from top left; Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Above: Zimbabwe (right) contest for possession with Northern Ireland. The Africans won 51-49

Top: African teams in 2019 Netball World Cup action, clockwise from top left; Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Above: Zimbabwe (right) contest for possession with Northern Ireland. The Africans won 51-49

Australia, New Zealand and England, however, may prove daunting hurdles in the knock-outs, going by their huge dominance in the pool stage, but Africans are expected to fare well, and in fact, that South Africa should match the best teams in the tournament.

The African performance in Liverpool should open debate about the attitude of fellow African states — read, former French, Portuguese and Spanish colonies and Arab states — where netball is largely absent. Virtually all English-speaking African nation (about 20 of them) play the game and largely among all girls in elementary and high schools.

Zimbabwe aim another shot at goal

Zimbabwe aim another shot at goal

But curiously, Netball is one of the sports largely ignored by French and Arab speaking driven sports administration in Africa. Is it the reason why the widely played netball in parts of Africa stays on the back-burner in the large African forum?

For instance, Netball will not be in the forthcoming 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco (19 to 31 August 2019).

South Africa’s SparProteas captain, Bongiwe Msomi, was making her 100th appearance for her team at the ongoing 2019 Netball World Cup

South Africa’s SparProteas captain, Bongiwe Msomi, was making her 100th appearance for her team at the ongoing 2019 Netball World Cup

But it is not only Netball among ‘popular’ sports that the hosts Morocco will not be accommodating. There will also be no Field Hockey — despite a rich history of the sport in Kenya (once a permanent feature in the Olympics and 4th ranked team in the world), South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, etc., rugby football, cricket, golf and traditional (five-a-side) basketball (Morocco is putting on the ‘leisure’ or ‘street-version’ 3×3 – Three-On-Thee).

Sections of Africa are blaming the sports department of the African Union (AU), ‘owners’ of the games for giving too much leeway to hosts as to what disciplines should be competed for at the African Games.

South Africa go into a huddle during another of their 2019 Netball World Cup appearance

South Africa go into a huddle during another of their 2019 Netball World Cup appearance

Morocco are seen to have settled for a games programme they are “familiar” with or have hopes of picking up medals and scrapping disciplines they are not good at or do not participate in at all. Too much emphasis on what most Africans would consider “minor, fringe” sports have left suspicion on the true intention of the Moroccans.

The 26 disciplines programme for the African Games arrived at by Morocco.

2019 African Games, Rabat, Morocco:

(26 Sports featured):

2019 NETBALL WORLD CUP

(Automatic qualifiers):

Continental qualifiers:

Europe:

  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland

Oceania:

  • Fiji
  • Samoa

Africa:

  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

Americas:

  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Barbados

Asia:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Singapore

African results:

Group ‘A’:

Zimbabwe 79-49 Sri Lanka

Australia 73-37 Zimbabwe

Northern Ireland 49-51 Zimbabwe

Group ‘B’:

New Zealand 65-45 Malawi

Malawi 87-38 Singapore

Malawi 65-41 Barbados

Group ‘C’:

South Africa 76-45 Trinidad & Tobago

South Africa 90-35 Fiji

Jamaica 52-55 South Africa

Group ‘D’:

England 64-32 Uganda

Uganda 69-48 Samoa

Uganda 52-43 Scotland

Group ‘F’:

  • Malawi
  • Zimbabwe

Contains 6 teams from groups ‘A’- ‘D’, and the top 2 proceed into play-off matches and the others play the same position from Group ‘G’ in a placement match

African results:

Zimbabwe 36-79 New Zealand

Northern Ireland 43-47 Malawi

Group ‘G’:

  • South Africa
  • Uganda

-Reported by Correspondents, Agencies & Team Kenya 12th African Games Media Dept

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