Ex Tunisian defender Haggui says time to rethink match

Karim Haggui (left) performed 76 instances for Tunisia whereas having fun with a decade-long profession within the Bundesliga

The African Nations Championship (CHAN) ought to be restructured as an under-23 competitors to enhance requirements, former Tunisia defender Karim Haggui has mentioned.

The CHAN, which is at present is in its seventh version, is particularly for African gamers who play in their very own home leagues on the continent. The semi-finals for the match, involving hosts Algeria, Niger, Senegal and Madagascar, happen on Tuesday.

Algeria have obtained reward for the amenities within the 4 host cities and the turnouts in Algiers, Annaba and Oran, however Haggui, who received 76 caps for Tunisia, mentioned that he has been left disenchanted by drab matches, lack of urgency and poor depth in some group video games.

“It is higher to play CHAN with gamers no more than 23-years-old as a result of there’s high quality at that stage and we do not want gamers who’re 33 years of age,” Haggui informed BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s important to make it possible to the youthful participant to enhance play on the match which can prolong to home soccer.

“The CHAN will probably be extra aggressive and the efficiency too may have a terrific impression on the nationwide leagues now and sooner or later, too.

“With due respect, having somebody who’s already 33 makes it extraordinarily tough for scouts who’re right here to be fascinated by such gamers.”

Stepping up

A 2004 Africa Cup of Nations winner with Tunisia, Haggui believes the CHAN match gives a life-changing alternative for younger footballers, with two-time defending champions Morocco offering the most recent success story.

Nayef Aguerd, Achraf Dari and Jawad El Yamiq all made useful contributions all through the Atlas Lions’ historic run to the semi-finals on the 2022 World Cup.

Every of these gamers was an integral a part of Morocco’s back-to-back CHAN triumphs in 2018 and 2020, serving to them earn strikes to European golf equipment West Ham United, Stade Brestois and Actual Valladolid respectively.

One other product of the match is Tottenham Hotspur’s Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma, whereas different notable gamers that went on from CHAN to make impacts at European golf equipment embrace Leicester Metropolis’s Patson Daka, RB Salzburg’s Sekou Koita and Braga’s Al Motasim Al-Musrati.

Haggui, 39, says different younger gamers also can make the step up if given the chance which they at present do no have in CHAN or the continent’s premier competitors, the Africa Cup of Nations.

“CHAN is a match for native gamers so it is sensible to provide likelihood to those that do not commonly get an opportunity to play with the primary workforce,” he added.

“At senior nationwide workforce stage the gamers come from large European golf equipment in Italy, Germany and England to play within the AFCON however right here at CHAN, stars can emerge to make that large transfer.

“For a 33 12 months outdated, I’m sorry the CHAN doesn’t present such an enormous alternative.”

Haggui as a substitute suggests the Olympic soccer format – an under-23 match with three overage gamers allowed per workforce.

‘It could be good to go along with possibly two or three overage gamers so as to add (the) high quality of expertise to the groups. Typically, you simply have to provide the possibility to the youth to play.”

Haggui began his profession at Etoile du Sahel in his native North African nation earlier than shifting to French facet Strasbourg in 2004, 4 months after serving to Tunisia to the Africa Cup of Nations success on house soil.

Two seasons in France led to a change to the German Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen in 2006 starting a decade-long spell in Germany together with stints at Hannover, VFB Stuttgart and Fortuna Dusseldorf, earlier than ending his profession at Swiss membership St. Gallen in 2018.

African Tremendous League

After experiencing life as an expert in Africa and Europe, the previous Carthage Eagle says the continent’s governing physique, the African Soccer Confederation (Caf), ought to tackle the rising match congestion and journey burden dealing with gamers as a substitute of making a brand new competitors.

The African Tremendous League, which is being promoted by Caf president Patrice Motsepe and pushed ahead in partnership with Fifa, is predicted to kick-start a brand new period for membership soccer on the continent.

Motsepe says the plan, which entails the Tremendous League being run in parallel with the Caf Champions League from August 2023 onwards, will rework the membership sport on the continent in each monetary and sporting phrases.

However Haggui is just not an enormous fan of the brand new addition.

“Each two years, we add a brand new competitors. And nobody is considering of the gamers. Yearly they play at the least 70 video games. Significantly, I am not okay with the brand new competitors,” he mentioned.

“The participant haven’t got time to play and get well. Perhaps it is good for cash and publicity, however we should take into consideration the well being of the gamers.

“In Europe they play 50 or 60 video games or extra relying on the international locations.

“However in Africa, we’ve got the Champions League, AFCON, the native league and home cup, then this CHAN.

“I believe the competitors is an excessive amount of. We have now to be extraordinarily cautious what we do with the gamers.”

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