Former Nigeria star Emmanuel Amunike 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 is the first time it has failed to reach the second round since 1982.
“It was a disappointment for the African teams and the African continent,” admitted Amunike, 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 and Nigeria went into their final group matches with qualification firmly within their grasps, both requiring draws to progress.
Neither managed it, however; their game management, both in failing to score while on top and in seeing out a match from a position of advantage, failing at the most crucial moments.
“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 Amunike.