The 7th Pepsi U-17 nternational football tournament which begins at the MKO Abiola stadium Abeokuta on Wednesday August 19, 2009, will serve a foretaste of what to expect at the FIFA U-17 World Cup competition in October as youth teams from four African countries will be trading tackles with other youth teams from Nigeria.
The Gambia national U-17 team which will be playing at the Calabar venue of Group C has confirmed participation at the tournament.
The Gambians who are the current African U-17 champions will use the tournament to perfect their strategy for the World Cup and put their players in top shape for the hostilities in Calabar against Iran, Columbia and the Netherlands.
Other participating teams in the Pepsi International tournament according to Kasimawo Laloko, the director of the Pepsi Football Academy include â€” Liberty Professionals (Ghana), Pepsi Football Academy 1 & 2 (Nigeria), Lagos U-17 team (Nigeria), Gateway U-17 Youth Team (Nigeria), F.C Johansen Academy (Sierra Leone) and Dimension Foot Academy (Republic of Benin).
Consultant to Pepsi Football Academy, Mr. Iain Nelson, said the objective of the competition is to expose the students of the academy to international competition to acquire the confidence of playing high profile matches both locally and internationally. He said trophies and medals will be awarded to the first three teams and Most Valuable Players selected during the matches. The tournament ends on Saturday August 22, 2009.