Caf president Ahmad questions management after Africa's disastrous World Cup

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All African teams at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia bowed out at the first hurdle for the first time in 36 years

Confederations of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad has expressed great concern about the poor performance by five African teams at the recently-ended Fifa World Cup.

No African team reached the knockout phase of the competition for the first time since 1982.

Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia won a game each in Russia to put the combined record of African teams to just three wins in 15 games.

The Caf members conceded 26 goals against 15 scored, with Morocco managing just a draw as their best result, while Egypt returned home pointless.

A World Cup evaluation conference convened by Caf in Morocco last weekend was billed as a postmortem meeting to seek solutions and avoid a repeat at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

But Ahmad could not hide his concern for a continent that left Russia with more questions than answers.

“It’s a thin and worrying record,” Camfoot quoted Ahmad as saying.

“None (of the African teams) managed to pass through to the second round. Why such a rout? Yet our continent is perceived as a universal reservoir of talent. Yet we have an audience envied by the whole world.

“What exactly is missing from our representatives to compete with ardor, talent and efficiency with the best in the world? Are these dysfunctions in the preparations or management?”

Away from the football action, Russia’s successful hosting of the World Cup was an eye-opener for Ahmad.

It was not just an on-pitch event as Caf drew lessons on how to improve in organising their own tournaments.

“This success challenges us because it offers us to look at our own limits and our own ways of doing things when it comes to organising continental and international events,” Ahmad said.

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“Yes, we can (organise big tournaments). But we have to be careful when we talk about our abilities in the organisation. And, of course, we must also be realistic, be aware of our possibilities, aware of our limitations and especially aware of our weaknesses.

“So we need to change our mindset if we want to change course if we want to raise the level of the organisation and move closer to the criteria of our time.”

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is the next high-profile tournament to be organized by Caf.

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