Ghana’s historic cities of Cape Coast and Sekondi/ Takoradi will host the new Fox Sports West African Football Union (WAFU) Nations Cup from September 9 to 24, 2017.
The impressive media launch of the soccer fiesta was held at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.
The winner of the inaugural edition of the WAFU Nations Cup will take home US$ 100,000. This was announced at the launch of the competition in Accra on Thursday evening.
Sixteen teams from the two Zones (West A and B) will compete in the coastal cities of Cape Coast and Sekondi-Takoradi.
The first round will be a knockout format with all four winners in each Group staying on for a round-robin exercise.
After three matches, the top two teams will progress to semi-final.
Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah who was guest speaker said Ghana is ready to host the WAFU tournament which kicks off on September 9 and guests should expect a festival feeling during the event.
Asiamah indicated that Ghana hosted the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament perfectly and can replicate it in the WAFU competition.
“We have the capacity to host the WAFU tournament, Ghana is already having the track record as we hosted the AFCON perfectly,” he said.
“We have the needed hotels, pitches, road networks and others to make the competition a success,”
“It will also give our local players the needed platform to market themselves to the world and also help businesses in Ghana,” Hon. Asiamah added.
The 2017 WAFU Tournament is the first time the country is hosting a major tournament after AFCON 2008.
Ghana’s Black Stars team B will face Gambia in the first round of the 2017 WAFU tournament which will be played in September in Cape Coast and Sekondi.
Ghana’s tie with Gambia is one of 8 first round eliminators in the tournament with the winners progressing to the group stages.
The matches have been split into the two zones operational in the WAFU area.
The first game pairing are as follows:
Zone A in Takoradi: Ghana vs The Gambia, Nigeria vs Sierra Leone, Mali vs Mauritania and Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau
Zone B in Cape Coast: Senegal vs Liberia, Burkina Faso vs Niger, Cote d’Ivoire vs Togo and Benin vs Cape Verde
The tournament is organised by the West Africa Football Union and it is sponsored by US sports television company, Fox Sports.
Ghanaian football legends, Alhaji Ibrahim Sunday, Samuel Osei Kufour, Augustine Arhinful and Tanko Ibrahim, Black Stars deputy coach picked the balloting.
Local Organising Committee LOC chairman, George Afriyie assured that the tournament is going to be very successful like the grand launch.
Story by Sammy Heywood Okine