African football legends decipher Total CHAN 2020
Forty-eight hours before the final of the Total African Nations Championships (CHAN), Cameroon 2020, CAF organized a technical round table on Friday (5 February 2021) to evaluate the tournament. This exchange led by CAF Deputy General Secretary in charge of football development, Mr. Anthony Baffoe saw the participation of African legends and members of the Technical Study Group, namely Khalilou Fadiga, Mark Fish, Daniel Amokachi, Raymond Kalla and Gilberto.
For Baffoe, the tournament took place in the best conditions, especially health ones in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am proud to be in the heart of Africa for this Total CHAN 2020, seeing world-class stadiums and infrastructures but which will have to be perpetuated, kept and maintained,” CAF DGS said. “ Cameroon is on the right track for the Total AFCON 2021. Readjustments are necessary for the great celebration of African football which is expected in a year. We must not forget the hospitality of Cameroonians too.”
“In terms of the game, we have seen a fairly high-level tournament between teams which have shown great football like Mali, Guinea and Morocco who were at the top,” Baffoe added.
Khalilou Fadiga, member of CAF TSG during Total CHAN 2020 lauded “the organization of the tournament by Cameroon in these times of pandemic.”
Regarding football level of Group A, the former Senegal international underlined that he attended a high-level tournament. “In group A, we saw very good games from the four teams, despite the fact that local competitions are at a standstill in several countries” affirmed Fadiga. “I want to congratulate the technical staff of Cameroon who set up a good team for this tournament. In the semi-finals, they faced a stronger team in the outstanding Morocco.”
Former South Africa defender Mark Fish, also member of group A TSG said “as a defender I would say that the defenses of all the teams were very good with certain formations which presented very compact blocks, such as Mali. I believe Morocco and Mali showed a level above the others.”
Regarding the final, Fish believes both sides have chances of winning the trophy. “Morocco is a good team with exceptional players. Mali on the other hand plays well defensively with a very powerful midfield.”
Former Nigerian star Daniel Amokachi gave his impressions about group B. The Super Eagles midfielder said DR Congo deserved its first place in the pool. “DR Congo were the best team in Group B with the best coach of the year. This is a team which, with good preparation, could have done something better, especially since with talented players. We must also salute the courage and level of the Congo. Also, for me Libya have shown great things.”
Amokachi saluted Cameroon for organization of the tournament amid Coronavirus pandemic, in the presence of a limited number of supporters. However, he remained hesitant about the final which “gathers by two great teams in Mali and Morocco. Mali and despite having played extra time twice, remain one of the best teams in the tournament. It’s true that the Malians haven’t scored many goals, but they are in the final and will certainly have their say. They will face Morocco who were just outstanding,” he concluded.
As for former Cameroon legend Raymond Kalla, Rwanda was the surprise of group C. “I think Rwanda surprised us with their level in a very tight Group C. The Amavubi managed to draw two matches without conceding a goal before beating Togo”, the former Indomitable Lions defender noted.
“Morocco is an experienced team with international players who are growing in power. Technically, the Atlas Lions are very strong. I believe they are the best team in the tournament with Soufiane Rahimi who is outstanding. He’s not going to stop there and I think he will do something in the final,” concluded Kalla.
Group D was open to all predictions before the start of the competition. For former Angola winger Gilberto “Guinea is one of the best teams of the tournament, with a great player in Morlaye Sylla who I believe is the tournament’s best player.”
Gilberto believed the other good side in the group were Zambia. “The Zambians had a good first part of the competition before losing to the best team of the tournament, Morocco. I was also surprised by Tanzania who plays good football and is on an upward curve after the Total AFCON 2019. For their part, Namibia continue to learn at the high level and a competition like this is only beneficial for young people in view of the next events”.