Sports News of Thursday, 21 January 2016
The Ghanaian-born ex-Dutch international believes African teams can get to greater heights at the Fifa World Cup with good preparations
Former Netherlands midfielder George Boateng says African teams can go as far as winning the Fifa World Cup should they adequately prepare for the event.
Born in Ghana, the 40-year-old played for Middlesbrough in the English topflight between 2002 and 2008, and made four appearances for the Dutch national team after representing the youth sides.
“When you are in Europe, you hear about their preparations for the World Cup; Germany built their own training ground, they got their schedule [in place],” Boateng told Starr FM.
“Then you hear the stories coming from the African countries that, bonuses haven’t been paid, hotels are not sorted, among others.
“Things like these disturb and don’t give hope to the nation.”
Algeria’s 2-1 win over West Germany at Spain 1982, Cameroon’s shock 1-0 humbling of defending champions Argentina at Italy 1990 and Senegal’s 1-0 triumph over defending champions France in Korea/Japan 2002 – all group stage victories – remain some major upsets caused by African teams at the global gathering.
Boateng continued: “Quality wise on the pitch, I think we’re up there. African teams can compete.
“If you could cause early upsets [as has happened in the past], it means you’re capable of beating the top teams who are normally going to be there in the quarter-finals, semis and grand finale.
“If Africans can do that in the early stages, they’re capable of doing it in the final.”
Boateng was in Ghana, together with former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell, to launch a peace match ahead of the country’s general elections in November.