After CAN 2021: Let’s avoid repeating the classification match outside the green rectangle and get to the point!

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Football is a sport of emotion and passion; but it is necessary to know how to neutralize its leadership, management, management and development.

After a while to let the emotional mercury drop, it seems necessary to us to know, to accept, to diagnose and analyze the true causes (not the consequences) of the problems in any action taken. learning the lessons and above all questioning the future well and planning differently (CAN 2023, 2025 and 2027).

Indeed, after a brilliant run at CAN 2021 in Cameroon, despite a disappointing classification match, Stallions gave us strong emotions and a certain pride overall. And we should know to congratulate them and thank the people of Burkina Faso for the sacrifices made by both sides to achieve this honorable outcome during the difficult times our country is going through.

It seems to us that the Stallions went to CAN in a not so calm environment (fighting between FBF and UNSE, [avortée] a community of supporters; When the fans went to Cameroon, things got mixed up; debates around a so-called vote against the organization of CAN by Sita SANGARE, former Chairman of the Fed; controversies about not selecting certain players, particularly the Bryan DABO case; injury to Frank Lassina TRAORE; etc).

However, looking at the results (1 win, 1 draw, 1 canceled match) in Abu Dhabi, it is seen that Stallions have an acceptable technical preparation before the competition. Although the absence of some players did not make it possible to fine-tune some automatisms due to Covid cases, injuries or the new FIFA conditions for the release of players playing in Europe. As for the atmosphere inside the Stallions before LIFE, he seemed to have a desire to make a good LIFE; even if the technical staff are not in a certain comfort and calmness to approach a top tournament, with an “ambitious” goal and a contract that expires soon after the end of the tournament (28 February 2022).

Overall, the Stallions, one of the youngest sides of the tournament, produced above-average football at this AFCON. Indeed, the game, which is based on a fast-paced football, based on good collective animation, and overcoming function and solidarity, has disrupted more than one team. And we can say that MALO, together with his staff, was able to form a very cohesive group with a clever mix of young people and managers and instill in them a team spirit of a game that the collective takes. priority over the individual and where the individual puts himself at the service of the collective. In addition, all 9 goals scored by Stallions were scored by different players. It should also be noted that this group has good tactical discipline and we can be satisfied especially at the collective level, but also individually (Issa KABORE, Edmond TAPSOBA, Steeve YAGO, Hervé KOFFI, Blati TOURE, Adama GUIRA, Cyrille BAYALA, Dango OUATTARA, Gustavo SANGARE). Even if there are some reservations that need to be made at the level of some players due to physical injury, Covid and injuries.

In addition, we can say that this young team is full of talents despite their lack of experience and has a future to build in the calmness and maturation of a winning mood in the coming years.

However, keep in mind that this collective dynamic was shaken throughout the tournament by a lack of concentration during the 90-95 minutes of play (most goals were scored in the last 20 minutes of matches), pure individual errors over the realities of the game. and situations that resulted in most of the 10 goals conceded by Stallions (corners, free kicks, long opponent raises). Also, one of the team’s shortcomings was marked by the youth of the staff in the management of high-level competitions (1st CAN for the national coach). This manifested itself in the difficult management of stress and emotions (especially 1/8 and ½ final matches and qualifying), the management of game stages and periods (positive or negative) and displacements (management of incoming / outgoing). management of staff responsiveness at critical times. Also, some players’ short preparation, injuries and poor physical condition due to Kovid didn’t work either. Also, the lack of a real striker like Franck Lassina TRAORE hurt us; moreover, the number of attackers used clearly shows this deficiency.

Anything that dampens Stallions’ beautiful fantasy drive and still crystallizes all the controversy, accusations, even insults and verbal violence on the web and in the media, especially during the qualifying game. Even if we can for a moment understand the fans, novices in the football business (ignorance, emotion and passion imperative), this is unacceptable and unacceptable for subtle football connoisseurs who must have the maturity and hindsight necessary to approach critical events. Let us humbly question ourselves to analyze objectively and learn lessons well (what works and what doesn’t, why and how) to move forward better.

In addition, the shortcomings observed during the competition, and especially the post-CAN cacophony (announcement of the non-renewal of the personnel contract in conditions that contradict the legal texts of the FBF, according to some members) seem imperative to us. COMEX and Burkinabè football watchers; FBF and UNSE members’ true-false debate about the history of donations to finance their travels; market management and the dismissal of four members of COMEX ; A mixed situation at the level of the Central Arbitration Commission; through the media, insults of those responsible for the king of the sport), to quickly drop the ball on the ground and, above all, to return to the basics of football. He is at risk of repeatedly repeating the classification match off the pitch and undermining the gains made.

Indeed, it seems reasonable to us that in the interests of Burkinabè football, how to maintain logic and use the right balance in our judgments, analyze the root causes of football’s shortcomings in a cool, sincere and objective manner and responsibly. Stallions and to fix this technically, but also and above all in terms of the overall management of FBF (and its environment).

To make an administrative, organizational and financial assessment on the one hand, starting by silencing our differences and making the necessary analysis, with a real assessment to be made by technical personnel and the National Technical Department (DTN). FBF, learn the right lessons and take appropriate action. In particular, the better management of the Fed, the clean up of its environment (Leagues, Clubs, current and former footballers’ associations, referees, sports medicine and supporters, etc.) and the implementation, planning, operationalization of appropriate materials for the organization and meticulous monitoring of actions. Because for FBF to achieve convincing results, it needs a good foundation to support a legitimate ambition to one day climb the highest rung of the African podium. For this, we must know how to use our minds and energy wisely, agree to silence our petty arguments and harmful differences, and create the necessary conditions (together) to achieve performance. Because no matter how much we let our egos tug at us, we run the strong risk of taking a heavy toll and biting our fingers a few feet away from a coronation that arrives in the future.

Don’t we say that those who know how to look at the thing that stumbles, instead of being stuck where it fell, know how to take advantage of it and adapt? So let’s boldly try to correct our technical and tactical shortcomings, our lack of team management and coaching, to strengthen the depth of the bench (doubling the positions) and the capacities for effective management of the psychological and mental aspects. , communicative and managerial in our football.

For this, beyond the national team, which is the focal point of all discussions and the tip of the iceberg, we need to question ourselves more, make the necessary reflections and open the real construction sites worthy of elite football. instead of his name rotting in tensions that sometimes border on contempt. And these projects necessarily and urgently include the renovation and upgrade of our sports infrastructure (rather than in the humiliating paradox of playing our home games outside) and the construction of a worthwhile national championship (which for the moment is nothing like a professional championship). league). And for this, it is imperative that all players in Burkinabe football stare, smoke the peace rod (under the palaver tree) and reread the texts with courage and serenity, again outdated and with respectable discipline. to them.

In addition, it seems very important for us to design the training of managers in sports governance and management (sociology, psychology and sports law; sports leadership and sports performance management; ethics and social responsibility of sports organizations; sports) methodically and in the long term. medicine; technical, amateur, elite and youth coaching; team and change management; communication and management of sports organization information systems; arbitration; management, maintenance and safety of sports infrastructure and equipment, marketing and sports sponsorship; administrative and financial management; economical installation models for sports projects; etc.). Because in order to hope to break into the “major leagues” and stay permanently, we must deeply and progressively reinvent our football as a whole, rather than the often disproportionate ambitions of the state of the failing structure. and the moribund management of our clubs, leagues, football associations, and federal officials. In fact, the main thing is not to encounter obstacles, not to have inadequacies, but to lack the necessary ideas and political will to find real solutions to our problems.

And let’s never forget that although football is a game, it plays a social and political role today and is a real economic industry. And so, let’s put the interests of our football above all else. To lay the foundations of an organized and managed football that develops beyond the passion it awakens, with emotion, vision and humility, in a healthy environment and with a constructive spirit.

Without it, we risk running into even more frustration with our Ivorian neighbours, with the mismanagement passing from the green rectangle in the classification match to the ruling class of our football.

Together we go further.

N. Ousmane S. Bodo OUEDRAOGO

old footballer

Forecasting, Strategy and Project Management Consultant

[email protected]