The prospects of an African country making it to the World Cup’s latter stages will be limited until the continent is given additional spots at the competition, according to Ghana coach Otto Addo on Sunday.
No African team has ever advanced past the World Cup quarterfinals, though Ghana came within one missed penalty kick of the semifinals in South Africa in 2010.
Speaking before his team’s Group H match against South Korea, Addo claimed that with 54 teams, Africa deserved more berths.
“There was never a point where everybody had an equal chance at the start. Never in FIFA history,” Addo said in Doha.
“It’s very, very difficult if you have five slots to get far. If you have 12 or 14 slots — I don’t know how many Europe gets — the probability that a team will get further is much, much higher.”
Of the 32 countries present in Qatar, 13 are from Europe. South America, the CONCACAF area, and Asia each send four delegates.
At the Qatar World Cup, Senegal is the only African team to have won a game. The five African teams that competed in Russia four years ago all failed to advance past the group round.
“Everybody still has chances, some more, some less, but I’m hoping and praying at least one or two (African) teams can advance to the next stage,” said Addo, who played for Ghana when they made the last 16 on their World Cup debut in 2006.
After falling to Portugal 3-2 in their first game, the Black Stars play South Korea in their second encounter on Monday.
Ismail Elfath, an American referee, was criticised by Addo for his performance, saying the penalty Portugal received for a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo was a “gift.” But he claimed to have had some time to consider his loss.
“I can use this stage to apologise if I was a little rude, I was very emotional after the match,” said Addo.
“It’s in the past. It’s over, you can’t change it. Everybody on the pitch is a human, everybody makes mistakes. I do mistakes too.
“I was surprised the VAR didn’t come but there’s nothing we can do. The day after the match we cut it off and we concentrated on South Korea.”
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