Angela Asante: So for the time being, M. Araujo, any optimism?
Tony Araujo: Well, Cape Verde has proven that even though it is a small country economically and geographically, it is an up-and-coming footballing nation with tons of potential. If planned, administered, and financed properly I think that in the world of football, Cape Verde can be almost what the Dominican Republic is in the sport of Baseball nowadays.
Angela Asante: Now, according to your statements, there seems to be quite a long way to go for Cape Verde to achieve a considerable amount of respect in football, especially in terms of success and ranking.
Still, the country’s national football team has experienced a lot of progress since the year 2000. How would you explain Cape Verde’s considerable evolution in football since the past 10 years?
Tony Araujo: All of the success and achievements thus far achieved by the Cape Verdean football has been the result of a collective work done by the Cape Verdean football authorities, mainly the President of the Cape Verdean Football Association Mr. Mario Semedo, the Head Coach Joao De Deus and his Assistants such as Lucio Antunes.
Also, I have to attribute a lot of this success to FIFA for their continued collaboration, partnership and financial support through their FIFA Goal Program, coaching and referee training and certification among many other financial contributions and support.
In addition to that, I have to attribute some of the success to soccer schools and academies like EPIF, administered by the long-time Cape Verdean football pioneer Mr. Jose Ramos Lobo; that was actually the first project of that sort established in the country. Besides, I would like to emphasize the work that Mr. Mario Semedo and his team have done in terms of building top class football facilities throughout the country.
Nowadays, it is possible for Cape Verdean footballers to play football on artificial turf throughout the country and that is due to the strong collaboration between FIFA and the Cape Verdean Football authorities. I am pretty sure that CAF and UEFA have helped financed some of the football projects in Cape Verde too.
Last but not least, Mr. Joao De Deus, the Portuguese Head Coach for the Cape Verde national team and his Technical team. They have done an amazing job in implementing key changes to the various national team categories, such as the changes in the talent discovery, identification, selection, training, and eventual call-ups for the senior national team. Mr. Joao De Deus and his team create a world class coaching staff.