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Africa defies chaos to thrive at World Cup
Beyond strikes, disputes, bomb blasts back home, Africa having its best World Cup
By STEVE DOUGLAS
Associated Press
2014-06-30 03:42 AM

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Stephen Keshi had just finished repelling yet another questioning about Nigeria players' bonus payments when he wiped his brow, leant forward and posed one of his own questions back.

"Can I ask if you work with the CIA?" he said, sparking muffled laughter all around.

When it comes to African teams at the World Cup, football has often been placed on the backburner in Brazil.

Strike threats. Pay disputes. Bomb blasts back home. Presidential interventions. And several unsavory incidents on the field itself, with a Cameroon player headbutting his teammate and Ghana players getting suspended for physical and verbal attacks in training.

Yet somehow it's been the best-ever World Cup for Africa, which two countries -- Nigeria and Algeria -- advancing from the group stage for the first time.

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