Zito slams U-17 qualifying format

Karim Zito

Karim Zito

Head Coach of the national U-17 team, the Black Starlets, Karim Zito has criticised the current qualification format for the Africa U-17 championship after Ghana lost to Nigeria in the WAFU Zone B tournament.


Ghana will not make an appearance at the Africa U-17 championship in Tanzania next year and the FIFA U-17 World Cup subsequently after failing to pick the ticket in the WAFU zone.

The Black Starlets lost 3-1 on penalties to the Nigerians after the game had ended 1-1 in regulation time.

Black Starlets looked primed to win the qualifying tournament in Niger when they took the lead in the 54thminute.

But Nigeria equalized within 10 minutes of Ghana’s goal to ultimately take the game to penalty shootout which Ghana subsequently lost.

Coach Karim Zito was furious with the format and says something has to be done to ensure quality sides represent Africa at the showpiece.

“West Africa is the backbone of Africa in terms of youth development. Now, there is no Niger, there is no Ghana, there is no Cote d ‘Ivoire. Africa will go without her best,” he fumed.

“It appears Africa is playing down on the quality of its representatives. They should take a second look at the qualifying format. It is not the best because you must be the best to be at the World Cup. CAF must thinking about sending the best to the World Cup,” he concluded.

Ghana was runners up in the last edition of the Africa Juvenile Championships and finished as quarter finalists at the FIFA World Cup in India last year. –Ghanasoccernet

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