Former Nigeria football star Emmanuel Amunike has called for a reform of the international football calendar to allow more players from across Africa to reach their potential and play on the world’s biggest stage.
Several players have been asked for their input into a wide-ranging review on football’s future with some suggesting that fewer international breaks and staging the World Cup every two years would improve the competitive chances of smaller nations.
“The only way we Africans can do better is by going back and developing our players. It is true that we have a lot of great players playing in Europe, doing very well, but, of course, we also have to think about those playing in their country. How we can aid them to become much better players, and how we can develop them?” Amunike said.
The former midfielder believes an African nation will one day win the FIFA World Cup, but the amount of traveling involved in modern-day football causes unnecessary ‘stress’.
Amunike is well placed to give advice on the rigors of the international calendar having stared at the 1994 World Cup as Nigeria reached the last 16, before losing 2-1 to eventual runners-up Italy.
Several African players are making a name in Europe from their fantastic records that include Mohammed Sala of Egypt and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon with Arsenal.
With 102 Premier League goals, Mohamed Salah is the second-highest African goalscorer in the history of the league behind Chelsea’s legend Didier Drogba’s104 goals in 254 matches.