Grant confident of 2018 WC qualification

Sports News of Monday, 27 July 2015


Avram Grant Black StarsGhana coach, Avram Grant

Ghana coach Avram Grant believes the group stages of the qualifiers to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be difficult.

The qualifying draw held in St.Petersburg, on Saturday had the Black Stars placed on a bye from the first round but will begin their campaign in November against the winner of the Comoros v Lesotho playoff over two legs.

Twenty teams are expected to advance from the second round knockout matches. They will then be drawn in five groups of four from which the group winners will secure their tickets to represent Africa at the World Cup in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

Reacting to the draw from St. Petersburg, Black Stars coach Avram Grant who once coached his native Israel in a previous World Cup qualifying campaign admits to an unusual process adapted in choosing representatives for Africa.

“I think the system for Africa is a little bit new for me so we know only the first game and then we know we will go to the group stages,” he said.

”In any case, I think in Africa, all the group stages will be very difficult because it contains a lot of good teams and only less than 10% have qualified. If you compare to South America, 50% of the teams have qualified; in Europe, I think over 30 (%).

The former Chelsea coach whose team have been to the past three World Cup tournaments is however confident his team will pass the test to make their fourth World Cup appearance.

”It will be difficult but we have a good team,” Grant said on Saturday night.

Avram Grant was appointed by the Ghana FA in a 27-month deal last November with the ultimate aim of building a more formidable Black Stars team to qualify and participate at the Russia World Cup.