BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Africa: Africans abroad  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Home from home for Africans in France
Ibrahim Bakayoko in action against Lille
Bakayoko (right) will be hoping to fire Marseille into Europe

For many years now, the French league has been a home from home for African footballers.

More Africans play in Le Championnat than anywhere else outside the continent - highlighted by the fact that last year's league runners-up Lens had four of Senegal's World Cup squad in their side.

That was without mentioning Nigeria's John Utaka, Mali's Adama Coulibaly, and Guinea's Daouda Jabi - all on the books of the Northern France club.

Last year they played their part in a hugely dramatic end to the season, with the top two playing each other for the title on the last day - and Lyon's 3-1 win left Lens hero El Hadji Diouf "the most miserable person in the world."

Diouf has since moved to English side Liverpool, and will be joined there later in the season by compatriot Salif Diao, contracted to Sedan until December.

But despite the switch of the Championnat's top scorer, French clubs remain packed with the cream of Africa's talent.

Most of Senegal's World Cup heroes still remain there, with Tony Sylva at Monaco, Henri Camara at Sedan and Khalilou Fadiga at Auxerre.

Meanwhile this is a big year for the player once tipped to be the next George Weah - Monaco's Shabani Nonda.

Nonda had a disappointing season last time around, with his club nearly being relegated.

Ferdinand Coly
Coly had an outstanding year for both club and country
And he may find his place under threat from another pacy African starlet - Senegal's Soulymane Camara.

And down the road, giants Marseille - who also underperformed last season - will be hoping for better things from their attacking African duo of Ivorian Ibrahim Bakayoko and Cameroonian Solomon Olembe.

The French league may no longer be one of the biggest in Europe, but as long as it continues to be resplendent with players like that, it will remain one of the most exciting.


New seasons kick off
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africans abroad stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africans abroad stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales