Kumasi, Jan 16, GNA - Africa has been tipped to excel at this year's World Cup finals in Germany in spite of the fact that most of the countries are debutantes.
Stefan Schwarz, a former Swedish international who made the prediction, said Africa was an emerging force in world football whose potentials cannot be under-estimated.
With the exception of Tunisia who are making their third appearance, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo and Angola will be making their debut in the World Cup in June.
Schwarz, 36, and a member of the Swedish squad for the 1990 and 1994 World Cups in Italy and the USA respectively, was speaking in an interview with the GNA Sports in Kumasi on Sunday. The Swedish international who is now a FIFA agent, is currently in Ghana on an exploratory tour to scout for talents towards the establishment of a soccer academy to be known as "Schwarz Academy" in Kumasi.
Schwarz said he chose to establish the academy in Ghana following the exploits of the country at juvenile competitions and expressed the hope that the move would further boost the country's football development.
"Africa abounds in a lot of talent and so it is up to sports administrators to lay good structures for the growth of the game and nurturing of youthful players".
While commending the individual brilliance of players of the participating African teams in the World Cup, Schwarz, however, stressed the need for good preparation if they were to cause real major upsets. The FIFA agent therefore asked the teams to take advantage of the African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt to polish up their preparations so as to enhance their participation in the World Cup. Schwarz during his active days played for Arsenal, Valencia and Leverkussen and also had stints with Benfica and Sunderland FC's.