Black Starlets coach, Abdul Karim Zito, and his Nigerian counterpart, Manu Garba, have protested against the new mode of qualification for the African U-17 Championship.
Even though the Super Eaglets qualified for next year’s Africa U-17 Championship in Tanzania due to their 4-2 win on penalties over the Starlets in the final of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B tournament in Niger last Saturday, the coach of the Nigerian side still thought the mode of qualification for competing teams for the championship will be disadvantaged to Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Coach Garba, who was speaking to journalists at a post-match conference, also praised Ghana for their gallant performance.
“I must say that this is not the best for CAF because West Africa is the sense of African football, especially in youth football. Nigeria has won the World Cup five times and Ghana has won it on three occasions.
“It’s just unfortunate that Ghana, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire will not play in the Africa competition. CAF must change the format; I still congratulate Ghana even in defeat”, he noted.
On his part, Abdul Karim Zito said: “No coach who is participating in the tournament is happy with the mode of qualification for the World Cup. Now, one of the best counties in terms of talents (Cote d’Ivoire) is out of this tournament and so will not be at the World Cup. CAF opted for quantity instead of quality”, he added.
The Eaglets secured their berth after they edged past arch-rivals Ghana 3-1 on penalties after fulltime scores stood at 1-1.
The Starlets, therefore, lost the opportunity to play in the U-17 Africa Championship to be staged in Tanzania in May 2019.