This happened because of the format which CAF adopted for the qualification games to the tournament. The decision to make qualifications zonal on the continent serves a good purpose but generally, the deficiencies of that policy is now plainly seen.
Why CAF should change their Qualification format for AWCON, U-20 and U-17 Tournament
On Sunday, Africa witnessed an epic game in Accra where the Super Falcons of Nigeria were involved in an AWCON qualifier against the Black Queens of Ghana. The game ended 1-0 in favor of Ghana but they missed the chance to play at the AWCON, a tournament in which they have at one time played in its final.
This format makes it easy for some strong teams from the West African region to miss out from some major tournaments. For CAF, this format is to strengthen other regions. But this comes at a disadvantage to other big teams on the continent. Ghana has failed to qualify for the AWCON and they have also missed the chance to qualify for the World Cup in 2023. Either Nigeria or Ivory Coast will also miss the AWCON and the World Cup in 2023 because of this policy.
Football administrators in the West African region should push for a change as this would see some of the big teams miss out of major tournaments.
CAF should look at improving football in other regions of Africa, rather than allowing strong North African and Western African nations meet in the qualifiers.
This process is tedious and it could further weaken football in other regions of the continent. It is hard to believe that Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana would face each other in the qualifiers and two of these top African football nations will miss tournaments.
This also happened at the last WAFU-B qualifiers for the U-17 and U-20 men's World Cup. The top teams from the West African and the North African region stand a chance of missing major tournaments and it is a cause for worry.
Bethel Kalu is a passionate sports writer whose love for writing began as a young boy. He has been writing sports for 7 years has over 500 articles written by him.
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