Former Super Eagle’s star and head coach of the Tanzania team, Emmanuel Amuneke has predicted that some of the bigger names in African football like Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal could make an early exit from the forthcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019.
The tournament will hold in June and sees Nigeria playing against Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi in the group stage. Amuneke’s team, Tanzania, have qualified for their first finals since 1980 and will face Algeria, Senegal and Kenya in Egypt in Group C where they’re regarded as the underdog of the group.
Sharing his thoughts on the likely outcome of the group stage of the tournament the former Barcelona star tells BBC Sport:
“Don’t be surprised if you see some of these so-called big teams packing their bags early in the tournament. I personally don’t fear any team and I know the so-called small teams are going to the Nations Cup with a lot of appetites to try and prove a point, he continues.
“Every team that has qualified for is strong enough and now it’s about how much more work the technical teams and players do. The small details will count during the tournament, but I like the hunger that my team has. Many people thought Tanzania could not qualify and now we are there and we need to prove yet another point.”
The 1994 African Footballer of the Year also believes expanding the tournament from 16 teams to 24 is a good thing.
It is good Caf has adopted the 24-team system which gives chance to many other teams.
“Generally teams have improved because younger boys have changed their attitudes and want to shine to improve their daily lives and families.
Also according to BBC, Amuneke, who coached Nigeria to the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, has the full backing of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF).
I trust in Amuneke and the players to continue doing us proud, Wallace Karia the TFF President says. We will make sure all that the technical team asks for is provided so that the team is well prepared.