CAF President and Hall of Fame pioneer member Issa Hayatou has congratulated the five national associations whose respective national teams have qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil next year.
The national teams of Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria made it through the final phase of qualifiers last month and Issa Hayatou has commended them.
“Africa can not have asked for better representation in the World Cup. These nations have proved, over the who qualification series that they are worthy conquerors, and I congratulate them”.
Hayatou enjoined all the football associations of the five countries to work together and put up a good showing in Brazil next summer.
“It is my dream to see an African team reach the final four of a World Cup. Brazil is a perfect chance for this to happen. We have come close before – with Cameroon in 1990, with Nigeria in 1994 and with Senegal in 2002”.
He also recalled the most recent close shave that Africa had in South Africa in the last edition, saying “if the player of Uruguay (Suarez) had not handled the ball in the box, thus conceding a penalty in the last minute against Ghana, Ghana would have made it to the semi finals in South Africa”.
Hayatou then offered his counsel and support to the national associations, to ensure that they all worked in every way possible to ensure maximum representation of all Africans to the highest possible stage of the World Cup.
“I shall be meeting with the leadership of the five national associations in South Africa during CHAN, to iron out ways through which we can have a united African approach to ensure optimum performance and progress in Brazil”, Hayatou concluded.