New Ghana Football Association Technical Director, Bernhard Lippert
New Ghana Football Association Technical Director, Bernhard Lippert

Ghana Football Association’s (GFA) Technical Director, Bernhard Lippert, has identified the cause of Black Starlets’ failure to qualify for this year’s Africa U17 Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The German, who has been at the helm of affairs since October last year, said the Black Starlets could not qualify for the tournament because they lacked real strikers at the WAFU Zone B tournament.

The WAFU tournament serves as a qualification ticket to the AFCON, with the two finalists securing tickets to the Morocco tournament scheduled for July.

But, the Black Starlets were knocked out at the group stage after losing their final group game on Tuesday against Ivory Coast.

The Ivorians were too strong for the Black Starlets and recorded a 3-1 victory at the Stade de Kegue in Lome. The result meant Black Starlets finished third in the group, behind Ivory Coast and Nigeria. They drew 1-1 with the two countries in their earlier games.

Assessing the Black Starlets’ performance, a disappointed Lippert said they had a blunt attack, resulting in their inability to score many goals.

“I’m not happy with the U17 performance; we have goal scoring problems. We don’t have the kind of strikers who are real strikers but in all the referee decided this match today. Sorry to say this,” Lippert said as reported by

“This was really obvious and there is a lot of things to do. This team didn’t present itself as a team but we still have four or five prospects in the team,” he added.

“We have to discuss the performance of the team at the Executive Committee level,” he added.

It is the second straight time Black Starlets have failed to qualify for the AFCON after missing out on the 2019 edition in Niger.

The four semi-finalists at the AFCON ought to be representing the continent at the U17 World Cup later this year but the latter tournament has been cancelled due to safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.