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“You never know what’s going to happen” – Zahibo optimistic about CAR’s World Cup chances despite Nigeria threat


Dundalk midfielder imagines the Wild Beast’s chances of qualifying for football’s centerpiece despite pooling with the Super Eagles

Wilfried Zahibo is “realistic” about the Central African Republic’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

After failing in previous attempts, the Wild Beasts want to qualify for the first time in world football history.

However, they have to negotiate their way past Nigeria, Cape Verde and Liberia in Group C – with their first qualifying game against the Blue Sharks in September.

Although he failed to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the 27-year-old midfielder sees a place in Qatar 2022 as a plausible ambition, while showing his support for the technical team. directed by François Zahoui.

“The coach is doing a lot to change mentalities, to make people believe that we can do it and to ask the federation to invest more and to change the culture around football,” Zahibo said. BBC Sport Africa.

“For the World Cup qualifiers we are realistic. Nigeria are obviously the greatest team in the group but the magic of football is you never know what’s going to happen and of course we want to show that we can compete with one of the best teams in Africa.

“However, for us, the goal is to qualify for Afcon within the next two to four years. We believe we can do great things together, but it’s important to remember that this project is a project to long term and that we are still in the early stages.

The Central African nation has never qualified for the Afcon, although Zahibo is optimistic his country could make history.

“We have to change our mindset because for so many years we haven’t won anything or even competed satisfactorily,” he continued.

“It absolutely motivates us to see these new countries playing Afcon. There is a new generation, a new wave in African football, and we want to be part of it.

“Players like me and Geoffrey [Kondogbia] are trying to be the bridge for Central Africa – helping those who play locally to reach a higher level, to show that we can play in the Africa Cup of Nations. “

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