Eight countries from the West Africa sub- region will today begin the race to grab the WAFU Nations Cup.
They are Nigeria, Benin Republic, Senegal and Guinea in Group A in Abeokuta and Ghana, Togo, Liberia and Burkina Faso in Ijebu Ode.
President of West Africa Football Union, Dr. Amos Adamu, was so impressed by the state of the teams in Ogun yesterday that he wished the national team coaches were around to watch the games.
â€œI think that Lars
Lagerback (Nigeriaâ€™s national team manager) and other national coaches should be interested in this WAFU competition,â€Adamu said from Abeokuta yesterday. He continued:
â€œThe teams are all here and in high spirit. Organisation has also gone well and we shall have a smooth kick off when Nigeria and Benin Republic play the opening match. The standard is expected to be good and the players are the future stars of the participating countries. Thatâ€™s why it is an important competition for the national team coaches.
I hope our national team coaches will attend. If Lagerback canâ€™t make it, there should be another national team coach to check on the players here. Iâ€™m sure there will be stars from this competition.
It will be a good breeding ground. Ghana took WAFU seriously and the result is the youthful team that they have now. It is a young national team that started from this same WAFU Under 20 Nations Cup which they won and went on to win the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.
Most of them are going to the World Cup after their brilliant performance in the last Nations Cup. It also means that the same team can be around in the next ten years. WAFU could be the foundation many West African countries need and we should make good use of it.â€ Ghana, the defending champions will play their first match tomorrow in Ijebu Ode. It will be against Togo.