Madagascar would feature in their first ever AFCON this year in Egypt. Losing only two games in the AFCON qualifiers, “we are managing to be in the round of 16 stage” said Madagascan sports journalist Mirado Rakotoharimalala to Eye Sports on Eye FM.
The Barea of Madagascar have been billed to battle it out with fellow debutants Burundi, Nigeria and Guinea in Group B. According him, Nigeria is the strongest team in their group since they featured in the world cup last year. “Burundi are behind us in the FIFA ranking so we have a chance against Burundi”
“A draw against Guinea would be a good result for us” he said when asked about their chances in the group stages. According to him, Madagascar has three players that featured in the UEFA champions league and also young and energetic players in the local league who can pull surprises.
Clearing the air about the ironic perception that, CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad is the sole reason why Madagascar qualified for this year AFCON tournament in Egypt, he revealed the initiative of Ahmad Ahmad to expand the number of countries from 16 to 24 has helped Madagascar qualify. However, he revealed that ,”the efforts from the players and technical staff” was the major factor that helped them qualify.
Talking about his personal expectations, he says the team can make it through the group stages and “have a chance to play in the quarter finals”.