FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017​: Mali coach says event an opportunity for players to secure European club contracts

Mali have been a good team at the junior World Cups but the senior team has done precious little and Komla blames it on team not staying together after the age-group level.

PTI October 17, 2017 11:33:34 IST
FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017​: Mali coach says event an opportunity for players to secure European club contracts

Margao: Mali coach Jonas Komla is confident that his boys will put up a good show against Iraq in the pre quarter-final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with an aim to earn contracts from big European clubs.

Mali are runners-up from the last edition held in Chile in 2015, where they lost to Nigeria in the final.

FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 Mali coach says event an opportunity for players to secure European club contracts

File image of Mali U-17 football team. Getty Images

"We respect Iraq although they did not have too many good games in the league phase but they are a strong side. We are expecting a great game tomorrow against Iraq," Komla said ahead of the match.

"The boys know that U-17 World Cup is a good opportunity for them to showcase their talent and eventually play for big European club in future," Komla set the agenda straight.

Mali have been a good team at the junior World Cups but the senior team has done precious little and Komla blames it on team not staying together after the age-group level.

"At the junior level, our team is doing well but at senior level, they have not lived up to the expectation. The reason being, at the junior level, all the boys are together with us for a long time.

"They learn the tactics but the national players, who play in Europe come only three to four days before the tournament and find difficult to understand our philosophy and tactic we do during the training," stated Komla.

Iraq coach Qahtan Ali Rabaye is aware about their opponents being a far superior and physically stronger side.

However he wants his boys to pay with a positive approach.

"It is a good achievement to have made it to the knock- out stage. Now that we have qualified, we need to play to our potential and win tomorrow," Ali rabaye said.

Updated Date:

also read

South Africa interested in hosting FIFA Club World Cup
Sports

South Africa interested in hosting FIFA Club World Cup

The South African Football Association must get government approval to hold the tournament and meetings with the sports minister were also planned, Jordaan said.

Premier League stars returning from red-list nations could get exemptions in future
Sports

Premier League stars returning from red-list nations could get exemptions in future

It remains possible that an agreement could be reached to avoid players having to quarantine for 10 days on their return to England from red-list countries.

England leapfrog France into third place in FIFA men's international rankings
Sports

England leapfrog France into third place in FIFA men's international rankings

Belgium and Brazil retain first and second spots respectively, while England make their first appearance on the podium in nine years on the back of two wins and a draw in recent 2022 World Cup qualifiers.