Coach Claude Le Roy on where African football is failing

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The veteran Frenchman has coached six African national teams starting with Cameroon 33 years ago, leading them to an Afcon title in 1988

Togo coach Claude Le Roy feels African football is on a regression and is worse than it was 20 years ago.

Following the failure by all five African teams to get past the group stages at the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Le Roy views the game on the continent to be on a downward spiral.

“Players will stay in Africa if there is a good level of competition and good pitches, good balls, good nets, good physios – that’s why we have to fight every day,” BBC quoted Le Roy as saying.

“Africa has to think about (the fact that) not one team went into the second round (of the World Cup in Russia). It is necessary to reorganise football in Africa from the quality of the pitch, the quality of the coaches, the educators. There has been no progress, there is no improvement in Africa at this level I think it is even worse than 20 years ago.”

“Such huge talent but we need young African educators everywhere (especially) in youth leagues.”

Le Roy has also been previously in charge of DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana and Senegal.

The Frenchman also took a swipe of unscrupulous player agents involved in the trafficking of young players to Europe.

“In a lot of countries there is no competition for Under-17's and Under-15's, just some small academies where the agents are slave merchants,” he said.

“Their only target is to sell one player to make a little bit of money. That’s not the way you can improve in Africa, you have to build a very high-level of competition for young players.”

“Yes (slave merchants is) a very strong description but the reality is I am fighting against these kind of people for more than 20 years. We have to be very strong against this kind of behaviour.

"They (agents) are selling a dream to these young players but they are also cheating the parents. The grandparents or the family who sometimes give money to finance a trip overseas for nothing.”

Le Roy was recently honoured by former AC Milan and PSG striker George Weah for the critical role he played when he recommended the now Liberian President to be signed by Arsene Wenger at Monaco in 1988.