Ghana U17 coach fumes at CAF format: Africa has opted for quantity and not quality

Ghana U17 coach Karim Zito is the latest to slam CAF for the new qualifying format for the Africa Junior Championships.

The Black Starlets lost to arch rivals Nigeria in the finals of the WAFU Zone B tournament in Niger on Saturday.

This defeat sees Nigeria qualify to next year’s U-17 Africa Cup tournament at the expense of Ghana.

CAF has earlier this year changed the mode of qualification to the Africa Junior Championships from and all-play-all qualifiers into zonal tournaments.

In this new format, only the winners of the zonal tournaments will be joining hosts Tanzania and defending champions Mali at the Africa Cup finals.

This new format has in particular restricted the number of teams, particularly West African teams who have dominated the youth tournaments both at continental and the world stage.

And Zito whose team is a casualty following Saturday’s defeat to Nigeria wants this format reversed in the supreme interest of Ghana football.

“West Africa is holding Africa now in terms of youth development,” he said.

“Now there is no Niger, there is no Ghana, there is no Côte d’Ivoire.

“It means now, Africa has opted for quantity and not quality so they should look into this mode. It is not the best.

“Because when you go to the World Cup, it is Africa. So they should go back and look at the mode of qualification. It is not the right thing.”

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