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Africa deserves more World Cup slots – Cote d’Ivoire’s Beaumelle

22:04 GMT+4 17/11/2021
Patrice Beaumelle
The Elephants handler claimed the continent needs more teams at the global football showpiece

Africa deserves more teams to participate at the Fifa World Cup, according to Cote d’Ivoire coach Patrice Beaumelle.

The French tactician made this remark after the Elephants failed in their quest to qualify for Qatar 2022 following their 1-0 defeat to Cameroon on Tuesday.

Beaumelle – who assisted Herve Renard in qualifying Morocco for the 2018 global football showpiece – argued that a continent with over 54 countries like Africa merits more than five teams in the competition.

He also pointed that if this is not addressed, countries – who could have added more sparkle to the World Cup – will continue to miss out.

“My remark is addressed to Fifa. I have been in Africa since 2008. Having experienced a number of Africa Fifa World Cup qualifiers, I want to tell Fifa that to have five nations qualify from a confederation of 53 or 54 is a disaster,” the Frenchman told media, as per Kick442.com.

“There are 32 nations, it’s not normal that each pool doesn’t have an Africa team.

“Look at the intensity of the game [between Cote d’Ivoire] against Cameroon, strange enough, they still have to go through a play-off to qualify for the world cup. This is not normal.

“I am not saying this because we didn’t qualify. I am French and previously qualified for the World Cup with Morocco, but I think with this format, we always leave home three to four nations capable of adding more spectacle at the World Cup. Even if we went through, I will have made the same remark.”

Beaumelle’s statement is similar to South Africa coach Hugo Broos' opinion in October.

“In the qualifiers in Africa, you have 40 countries to vie for 10 first places (in the group stages). Then there is another round, and two games, and only five countries go to Qatar,” he told the Citizen.

“It is not fair, it is easier for good teams in Europe to qualify for the World Cup than (good teams) in Africa. In Africa, you have Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.

“You already have eight good teams there! I hope for 2026 this will change … it is a pity they have waited so long to do that because Africa deserves more teams.”

Africa’s quota at the World Cup was increased from three to five during the 1998 edition staged in France.