Senegal coach wants AFCON games delayed to boost World Cup preparations
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Johannesburg (AFP) – Senegalese coach Aliou Cissé wants the postponement of the qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in September to allow the five countries representing the continent at the World Cup to play friendly matches.
Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia have qualified for the November 21-December 18 tournament in Qatar and African teams only have a window of September 19-27 and one week before the kick off. sending off for the World Cup to prepare.
Zimbabwe’s withdrawal from Group K means Morocco are free to play warm-up matches in September, but the other four teams will each face two African qualifiers.
Cameroon are set to face Namibia, Ghana to meet Angola, Senegal to face Mozambique and Tunisia to face Libya home and away.
Speaking to the media in Dakar after Senegal snatched a 1-0 win over Rwanda last Tuesday, Cisse called on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to postpone the next two qualifying rounds.
“The best thing (to) help the five (African) selections that have qualified (for the World Cup) is to stop the (qualifiers) in September,” said the former Paris Saint midfielder-defender. -Germain.
“(It would give) the opportunity to qualified countries (for the World Cup) to prepare. I think we can find a solution to postpone the (qualifiers) scheduled for September.”
The challenge for CAF will be to find new dates if they postpone the September 44 matches because there is only one other window, next March, before the June-July 2023 final in Ivory Coast.
CAF plans to stage the fifth and sixth qualifying rounds for the Nations Cup from March 20-28, with the finals scheduled for June and July 2023.
What the Cairo-based body could consider is canceling only the eight matches in September involving the World Cup qualifiers and asking them to catch up during the World Cup window once eliminated. .
African pundits are extremely pessimistic about the chances of the five, giving only Senegal, who face the Netherlands, Qatar and Ecuador in Group A, a realistic chance of reaching the second round.
Algeria takes control
Tunisia are in Group D with defending champions France, Denmark and Australia, or Peru and Morocco in Group F alongside Belgium, Canada and Croatia.
Cameroon face Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland in Group G and Ghana meet Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
Meanwhile, there were six Nations Cup qualifiers on Wednesday and fallen African giants Algeria took control of Group F after an impressive 2-0 victory in Tanzania.
A clever free-kick drill late in the first half resulted in centre-back Ramy Bensebaini beckoning the Desert Foxes forward.
Tanzania rarely threatened to equalize before substitute Mohamed Amoura sealed the win with a thunderous close-range shot a minute from time.
Algeria were going a record 35 games unbeaten before the wheels came off this year in a Nations Cup title defense and a World Cup play-off.
After drawing with Sierra Leone in the African tournament, they fell to Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast to make a stunning first-round exit after traveling to Cameroon as one of the favorites of the title.
Algeria then prevailed away against Cameroon in a World Cup play-off only to concede late in extra time at home and lose on away goals.
Victory in Tanzania, coupled with second-seeded Uganda’s 1-1 draw at home to Niger, means the two-time African champions have a four-point lead after just two rounds.
Congo Brazzaville put behind them a four-goal Group G defeat in Mali by edging 2021-22 Nations Cup giants The Gambia 1-0 in Brazzaville thanks to a goal from Antoine Makoumbou.
© 2022 AFP