Something ‘wrong’ in Ivory Coast camp
Mali coach Patrice Carteron is not surprised that pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast have been booted out of the tournament.
Last year’s finalists Ivory Coast were knocked out by Nigeria in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Carteron said he has observed there was a team spirit issue in the Elephants’ camp.
He said he had no doubt that Ivory Coast has the best individual players of all the teams but they were not playing as a team.
“I think Ivory Coast has a problem. One could tell that players were not happy to play together and in football you don’t need the best players but the best team to win matches,” said Carteron.
He said the standard of African football has improved drastically in the past few years and it was difficult to predict winners as all the countries were tactically and technically strong.
“I am not surprised that Nigeria beat Ivory Coast because Nigeria and Ghana have always been top teams. Qualifying for semifinals is becoming more and more difficult now because the level of competition has improved.”
He said unlike before, when it was easy to predict which team would reach the semifinals, it was now an impossible task to ask.
“We knew Cameroon and Egypt would always be there but now it is difficult, but this is good for African football.”