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

  Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Africa's gateway to Europe
Ebou Sillah
Brugge are hoping Sillah can return them to the top

The Belgian League still has the reputation as the gateway to Europe for many African footballers.

It used to be the first port of call at the start of the massive exodus of players - sometimes in controversial circumstances - in the late 1980s.

The godfather of the exodus to Europe, former Nigeria captain Stephen Keshi, first went to Belgium, and was subsequently followed over the years by the likes of Victor Ikpeba, Sunday Oliseh, and Nii Lamptey.

But with the opening up of other channels across Europe, and more and more Africans playing in some of the big leagues in Italy, Spain and Germany, Belgium has lost its share of the star players from Africa.

However, there are still many from the lesser-established footballing African nations who are quickly snapped up by the Juniper League clubs.

New champions

The 21 goals of Burkinabe striker Moumouni Dagano, for example, helped fire KRC Genk to their second league title in four years.

The club have only been around since 1982.

Aruna Dindane
Dindane has shone in Anderlecht's midfield
There he is joined by three other Africans - Ivorian defender Didier Zokora, Moroccan Akram Roumani, and 19-year-old Cameroonian defensive midfielder Justice Wamfor, now in his second season with the club.

But when the league kicks off on 9 August, Genk will be under pressure from the start to hang on to their title - not least from Anderlecht, the most successful side in Belgium.

Anderlecht finished third last season, despite the best efforts of Ivorian Aruna Dindane, Egyptian Tarek Said and Burkinabe defender Lamine Traore.

Meanwhile Cup holders Club Brugge are the new Super Cup champions after beating Genk 2-0 on 3 August.

They achieved that without the inspirational DR Congo-born Nzelo Lembi, who has now moved to Germany to play for Kaiserlautern after seven years in Belgium.

Brugge will again look to players like Gambian Ebou Sillah and Nigerian Aminu Sani to steer them towards another title.

Also this season, the Juniper league welcomes back Mechelen and for the first time, Mons.

Mons' promotion campaign was boosted by Gabonese forward Dieudonne Londo, once of Raja Casablanca.

Mechelen, meanwhile, themselves have three Africans on their books: Guinean Ousmane Ngom Camara, Jean-Paul Boeka-Lisasi of DR Congo, and Theophilus Amuzu of Ghana.


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