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Madagascar at Total AFCON 2019 – « Yes, they CAN! Yes, we CAN! Yes, we did! Yes, we should! « 

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Last updated on juillet 28, 2021

I can’t believe I’m writing about the CAN, that I write about the MADAGASCAR PARTICIPATION TO THE TOTAL AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS 2019! But no, this is not a dream! We are in the twenty-first century, year 2019, in July, and we are witnessing the writing of history. Yes, we are participating in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time! : D

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Yes, they did!

There is much to say about this participation of the Barea at the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2019.

So to say that I think that even a book would not be enough. There are positives, there are negatives. But today, I would like to talk about a positive point. The one we all already talk about, in fact, in buses, in hairdressing salons, in bars, on social networks. I’m talking about this feat of the Barea since the beginning of the Total AFCON 2019 that takes place in Egypt since June 21, 2019 and will end on July 19.

« They did it! »

 The Barea have made the Total AFCON 2019. After years of dreams, work, exercises, perseverance, they finally realized their dream, but also the dream of a whole people: to participate in an international competition: firstly the Total AFCON, which is the first step towards all international championships, including the football World Cup, which is held every four years.

I still remember, ten years ago, when I asked my mother:

Rahoviana vao mba hanao « championnat » ‘zany tsika ry neny? (1)

– Eeeeeeeeh … Nofinofy ‘ki zany! (2) 

We did not believe it. Yes, it’s sad to say but we did not believe in our national team. We had denigrated them to the highest degree. Even qualified for the CAN, we had all thought that the Barea would be eliminated in the first round. Victories during the matches, probably, but not to the point of being qualified for the eighths.

madagascar at total afcon 2019
The Barea team did the impossible. cc : Youtube

But yes, they did it! They played at the Total AFCON 2019  and they won!

With an exceptional course, the Barea have impressed the national as foreigners. Since the start of the Total AFCON 2019, they have multiplied victories. In the eighth, they are also first in their group. Last Sunday, they beat the DRC with a 2-2 score, which ends with a 4-2 shot on goal. Tomorrow, our zebus will face Tunisia. Heart on them. we believe in them!

Because yes, they can!

On the other hand, the Barea have taught us a great lesson: we can be united. Malagasy can be united. One can still very well be a unified people for the same cause. Here, football … But why not on other major social causes? Yes, they did it! They did what politicians could never do. But after, can we do more? Should we do … more?

Yes, they CAN! Yes, WE can!

Ten years ago, I watched the World Cup matches on TV, trying to understand what the German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Nigerian, etc … fans felt, watching their team play on the field, on a chain often international. But I did not really understand …

I was a partisan of a team, of course, but I did not feel that heat, that sensation, this adrenaline, this desire to turn off the screen and to look up the end, the trembling during the shot on goal … When a team won, I was just … happy …

And when they lost, I was sad, but only for a few minutes. I forgot in a few seconds that my team had won or lost, life was resuming.

But today, I finally understand what it’s like to support a national team. I understand what it’s like to have a stomach ache while waiting for the end of the match, it’s as intense as waiting for the results of the Baccalaureate! My hands were shaking, I wanted to turn off the TV and at the same time look to the end.

Once the game ended and the Barea won, I had only one desire: to jump with joy, to scream like crazy and cuddle all the people around me, whether I knew them or not. I did not myself realize that all this joy, this madness, was thanks – or because of – the Barea.

I wanted to show my joy, like most Malagasy after the victory of their national team, and like most people, I went out on the street. I could have stayed at home, but I wanted to live this moment live. And also, a little, realize this childhood dream: celebrate the victory of his national team with people who share the same passion.

madagascar at total afcon 2019
The Malagasy supporters in Egypt. cc : Youtube

And I come back to what I said earlier: « The Barea have taught us a great lesson: we can be united. Malagasy can be united. « 

They showed us that a team can face all the barriers, that together we can all succeed. Yes, they can! They could! 

And us? Can’t we? Could not we?

Could not we believe in something?

Could we combine our efforts?

Could not we love our land?

Could not we move forward together

Yes, we should!

madagascar at total afcon 2019
The Malagasy President, Andry Rajoelina, shouted once the Barea won, after the shot on goal at the end of the match, last Sunday. cc : Youtube

Since the Total AFCON, in buses, in the streets, in offices, the atmosphere is not the usual one. People are smiling, less grumpy, more sociable … Bosses listen more to their subordinates, parents are more tolerant with their children, and even going to work on Monday has become a pleasure. Because a cause has rallied Malagasy: football. 

But if we can be united for football, why do not we join other causes? Can not we? Should not we?

I ask here again the questions:

And U.S ? Should not we?

Should not we believe in something?

Should we combine our efforts?

Should not we love our land?

Should not we move forward together? 


(1) When will we take part to a Championship, Mom?

(2) It’s just a dream, my daughter.

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