Former Nigeria star Emmanuel Amuneke says African teams need to focus on improving youth development after a poor showing from the continent’s representatives at the World Cup.
None of Africa’s five teams made it past the group stage in Russia, with Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco managing only three wins between them.
“It was a disappointment for the African teams and the African continent,” admitted Amuneke, who was speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday as part of FIFA’s technical study group analysing the World Cup.
“A lot of people were expecting African teams to progress beyond what they have done previously, but unfortunately it didn’t materialise.”
Senegal were particularly unlucky not to make the last 16, losing out to Japan only because of their poorer disciplinary record.
But it was a big step backwards after both Nigeria and Algeria made it to the knockout rounds in 2014 and Ghana went to the quarter-finals in South Africa eight years ago.
Indeed, it was the first time since 1982 that no team from the continent had made it past the first round.
“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,” added Amuneke.
A winger with Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona in the 1990s, Amuneke played for the Super Eagles at the 1994 World Cup, scoring as they lost in extra-time to Italy in the last 16.
He later moved into coaching and had a successful spell working with Nigeria’s under-17 side.
“I was privileged to coach the under-17s and I can tell you that there is a lot of raw talent but raw talent, without polishing them, will not give you a result,” he said.
Reps, COAS clash over arms procurement
Alessandra Galloni makes history as Reuters’ first female editor-in-chief
Ugwuanyi receives report on Oruku crisis
Insecurity: Facilitate return of IDPs to ancestral homes, Zulum charges CoAS Attahiru
Nigerian govt can’t reduce price of cooking gas – Marketers
Duo arrested in Rivers for importing fake ponmo from Madagascar
I wasn’t elected just to pay salaries, El-Rufai on sacking civil servants
Ogun nurses go on strike over alleged kidnap of members
JUST IN: Dornier Airplane Skids Off Runway At Lagos Airport
Twitter users blast Burna Boy for allegedly receiving Gov Wike’s N10m
Nigerian Idol: You can either love or hate me’, Seyi Shay claps back at critics
Investigate frequent ‘blood sucking’ accidents on Otedola bridge, Nigerians task FG
Emefiele unlocks new level of wickedness, Nigerians react to USSD charges
Vatican dashes gay Catholics hope, says Church cannot bless same-sex marriages
Nigerian Idol:Twitter users drag Seyi Shay over harsh criticism of teenage contestant
#JusticeForItunu: NIDCOM reacts as Nigerians demand justice for compatriot wrongfully jailed in Côte d’Ivoire
VIDEO: If South-West PDP gets it right, the future will be bright – Governor Seyi Makinde
VIDEO: How I survived selling water on one leg in traffic – Lagos based amputee hawker
VIDEO: I’ve forgiven comedienne Ada Jesus for lying against me- Rita Edochie
VIDEO: You should be scared of me, Crossdresser James Brown threatens ‘queen’s mother’ Bobrisky
VIDEO: How Lagos area boy, Aliu, became a modelling sensation
VIDEO: We were flogged but no one was raped – Kaduna college student
VIDEO: Rivers monarch speaks from captivity, lists abductors’ demand
VIDEO: Eight-month pregnant Aminat Idrees wins Lagos’ first gold medal at Edo 2020
Entertainment23 hours ago
Yoruba actress, ‘Iya Ife’, is dead
Metro23 hours ago
Man beats six-month pregnant wife to a coma, storms hospital to remove oxygen mask until she died
Breaking18 hours ago
JUST IN: FAAN raises alarm over planned attacks on airports
General22 hours ago
China intercepts human penis cargo labelled as plantains from Nigeria
General18 hours ago
Adamu Garba, Tolu Ogunlesi, others react to Twitter’s choice of Ghana as African headquarters
General20 hours ago
Twitter establishes first African office in Ghana
Crime6 hours ago
Driver loses two teeth to LASTMA, police brutality in Ikeja
General22 hours ago
Third Class OAU graduate tops class in Canada