Tunisia's Nabil Maaloul apologises, claims 'Arab football' not competitive enough for FIFA World Cup
Posted: 25 June 2018 Time: 11:30
Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul claims 'Arab' teams aren't good enough for the FIFA World Cup and it will take 'two more generations' to bridge the gap with the world-class level in Russia.
Following Tunisia's 5-2 defeat to Belgium on Saturday that eliminated the North African side, it marked the eighth straight defeat for 'Arab teams' which Maaloul referred to in his press conference.
Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have yet to record a single point within two rounds of fixtures at Russia 2018 which prompted the apologies to the Carthage Eagles fans and 'the Arab World'.
"We would like to apologise to the Tunisian fans who were numerous in the stadium and we will try to improve in the future," said Maaloul, according to the official translation.
"We have to be honest, a 5-2 scoreline is ridiculous but we were not ridiculous in the way we played. If you look at ball possession, we did not do too badly.
"It's very difficult to win against players who can make the difference at any moment with good passes and through balls.
"We did not disappoint the Arab world, we did not give up on our Arab fans," Maaloul added. "We have common problems, I don’t think we have high-quality performance, we need to change our lifestyle because it is not in line with high-level football, we need to change the way we train.
"We need two more generations to reach (the top) level of performance in terms of fitness and physical strength. We are far from the required level."