July 12 – Africa will never fulfil their potential on the World Cup stage unless they develop their youth properly and have strong enough characters on the field.
That was the stark assessment today given by Emmanuel Amuneke, who represented Nigeria at the 1994 tournament and is now a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group.
Amunike took part in a globally streamed press conference in Moscow today and was asked why no African country had reached the knockout phase for the first time since 1982.
“It was obviously a disappointment because there was huge expectation,” he replied. “A lot of people were expecting African teams to progress beyond what they have done previously.
“But the truth is…that if we don’t embrace the responsibility and see how we can develop our youth we will continue to live on dreams. Dreams without plans is just an illusion.”
“There is a lot of raw talent. But raw talent without polishing will not produce results and we will continue to dwell on talent. Sometimes you need a lot of character too.”
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