Africa in "Action" Beyond Aid - Dedication and Will

According to Argentine team doctor Donato Villani, sex forms part of everyone’s social life and in itself is not a problem. The good doctor spoke these words in defence of Maradona’s decision to allow girl friends and wives to accompany the Argentine players to the World Cup.

However, the doctor clarified that it had to be with a stable partner, and that the players should avoid “additives” like champagne or Viagra.

Brazil President Lula Da Silva was critical of the lax atmosphere in the Argentine camp, noting that Maradona was allowing his players access to their wives and girl friends.Lula went on record as saying that he wanted to see the Argentines arrive staggering and exhausted to their games.

In news about England’s team preparations ahead of the event in South Africa, Joe Cole expects to feature in England’s opening match against the United States.

Cole, 28, recently came back in a friendly against Japan, from a knee injury that kept him out of the game for nearly two years.

The Chelsea midfielder is yet to get a regular place in the club side. Following his come back. Cole never considered his injury as career threatening, though he did not expect to recover in time for the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s prospects have suffered a blow;Nani is out of the World Cup following a collar bone injury suffered in training in Lisbon.

Nani, 23, played brilliantly for Manchester United in the 2009/10 season, and was a likely star for Portugal in this year’s World Cup. Benfica midfielder Ruben Amorim will replace Nani in the Portugal squad.

Ivory Coast are arguably the strongest African contingent at the forthcoming event in South Africa. But their performance could suffer in the absence of their star striker Didier Drogba.

Drogba is undergoing surgery at the Lindenhof hospital in Berne, and everyone is hopeful of his speedy recovery, after an injury resulting from a collision with Japan’s Tanaka, in a match in Sion, Switzerland.

African Player of the Year, Drogba helped Chelsea to the Premier League and FA Cup Double with his 37 goals, last season.

Ivory Coast’s showing in the world Cup is completely dependent on Drogba’s recovery. Ivory Coast is in the ‘group of death’ with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. Ivory Coast is the strongest of the five African teams at the World Cup, and quite capable of causing an upset in group G.

In news relating to another African team’s lead up to the Cup, Ghana right-back John Pantsil is optimistic of his team entering the World Cup semi-final. Pantsil who plays for Fulham in the EPL feels an Arican team could become the champion, this year.

Ghana had a brilliant run at the last edition, in 2006, where they beat the USA and Czech Republic, to enter the knock-out round, where they lost to Brazil.

The Black Stars are in Group D a tricky group that has Germany, Australia and Serbia. Ghana will take on Serbia, in their first game, on 13 June in Pretoria.