- Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told African soccer to organise itself better
- He praised the continent's talent, but said there needed to be more support for emerging players
- Wenger cited the French soccer as an example, as it includes numerous African-born players who left their home countries in search of better opportunities
Ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on African soccer organisations to improve the way they run things, so as to help African teams have a better chance of competing on the global stage.
He said Africa had talent, but need to organise its football better.
Wenger made the statements while receiving a lifetime achievement award.
Wenger praised the talent and potential of African players, pointing to various African soccer stars who had gone on to success, including several African-born members of the French World Cup-winning team.
However, he said the fact that so many African soccer players move to countries like France to pursue their careers is proof that Africa does not yet have the proper organisation and facilities to build its talent.
He said this was essential for unlocking players' potential and getting African teams to do well in global tournaments. According to The Sowetan, Wenger said that this begins with a strong youth support system for emerging players.
Wenger is known for being one the pioneers of the modern soccer training techniques that helped Arsenal claim three Premier League titles under his leadership. He established Arsenal's first modern training centre when he took over as manager in 1996.
However, Wenger added that to reform the soccer systems in Africa, a joint effort by many organisations would be needed. He stressed that no one manager or team could improve the system on their own.
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