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Caf convene meeting in Morocco to scrutinise Africa’s catastrophic World Cup

18:12 SAST 2018/07/21
Mane Niang Senegal Colombia
No African team has ever reached the World Cup semifinals and the 2018 edition was the continent's worst since 1982

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has convened a meeting in the Moroccan capital Rabat to scrutinise the poor performance by African teams at the just-ended Fifa World Cup in Russia.

All five African teams failed to get past the group stages of the soccer Olympiad.

Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt arrived in Russia bidding to hurdle past the quarter-final benchmark set by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal (2002) and Ghana at the 2010 tournament.

But Caf witnessed a backslide, inviting more questions than answers about African football whose image was left severely tainted by the Russia outing.

This has also sent Caf into introspection about what they could have done better for their members for improved performances in Russia, as well as mapping the way forward.

The Caf Technical and Development Committee headed by Zambia great Kalusha Bwalya will compile a report on the Russia excursion with findings and recommendations expected to be published soon.

Even Fifa president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about African teams’ poor showing.

Former Nigeria international Emmanuel Amunike who was part of Fifa's technical study group analysing the World Cup in Russia, is also in Rabat to help with seeking solutions for African football.

Coaches and officials from Africa’s World Cup participants are also expected to give their input at the Morocco gathering.

“It was a disappointment for the African teams and the African continent,” Amunike told Reuters.

“A lot of people were expecting African teams to progress beyond what they have done previously, but unfortunately it didn't materialise.

“The truth is that we all are aware that football has developed a lot and will continue to change, and we in Africa, if we don’t embrace the responsibility and see how we can develop our youth, will continue to live on dreams.

“I can tell you that there is a lot of raw talent but raw talent, without polishing them, will not give you a result.”

There have been indications that most of the African Football Associations do not view that their future would be corrected by the sacking coaches.

Only Egypt’s Argentine coach Hector Cuper’s scalp has been claimed after the Pharaohs returned home with the grim record of having never won a match in all three World Cups they have taken part in.

Tunisia’s Nabil Maaloul resigned at his own volition to take up a new job in Qatar, after the Carthage Eagles extended their record of having never progressed past the group stages on five occasions they have graced the World Cup.

Morocco managed just a point from a group that included Spain and Portugal and will continue with their French coach Herve Renard.

Aliou Cissee, the Senegal coach, appears safe from the axe after narrowly missing the last 16 round qualification from a group that comprised of Poland, Japan and Colombia.

Nigeria had to deal with finalists Croatia in their pool together with Argentina. Coach Gernot Rohr is staying at the helm too.