Fifa boss Gianni Infantino has told the BBC that he is sad no African team made it to the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
All five African teams – Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia – exited this year’s competition in the group stages.
He told the BBC’s Piers Edwards in Moscow:
The World Cup is for the whole world and the African teams were very, very close at the end.
An Asian [team] made it – an African not – but I think they will be ready soon for the next one.”
With regard to criticism over fair play rulings, the Fifa president said there would be a debrief after the tournament to see if anything could be done better.
After Japan and Senegal finished level on points, goals scored and goal difference, the Africans became the first team to exit a World Cup because of their disciplinary record.
Knowing the situation, Japan – for whom extra bookings could have resulted in elimination -played out the final 10 minutes of their game against Poland at walking pace despite trailing 1-0.
The Senegalese Football Federation has written a letter of complaint to Fifa, saying teams should be punished for playing in a way which it says went against the principles of football.