By Grace Chaile
LESOETSA in Ndola
IT is unfair for Africa to be the only Confederation with the highest number of teams not to have play-offs for second placed teams in the World Cup qualifier series.
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos and Zambia assistant coach Aggrey chiyangi have charged that Africa deserves the same treatment as other Confederations who enjoy play-offs.
Speaking at a press conference in Ndola, the Belgian trainer Broos said qualifying a team to the World Cup in Africa is very difficult because of the limited number of slots awarded to the confederation.
“It’s unfair for Africa to be denied play-off for second placed teams as is the case in Europe and other continents. I am a Belgian but I feel Africa is unfairly treated,” he said.
He said Africa has many good teams that can compete well at the global stage.
“As a coach, you have to sweat to take an African team to the World Cup, because it only has five slots and you have to be top finishers in each group.
“Yet Europe has about ten groups and second placed teams are also given an opportunity to qualify through a play-off,” he said. Broos was however happy that Africa now have nine slots at the 2026 show piece after the decision by Fifa to expand the World cup to 48 teams.
Meanwhile Chiyangi noted that there was need for Africa football Association’s representatives to push for the introduction of play-offs.
Chiyangi said that it was unfair for Africa with more than 50 countries to have only five slots for the prestigious world cup tournament.
“We have over 50 countries in Africa yet we only have five slots, It’s demeaning. This issue can only be handled by representatives of our continent,” Chiyangi said.
From the 32 countries that will compete at the 2018 Russia World Cup, Europe has 13 slots.