12.05.2005 Football News

Ghana and seven others for "Integration's Cup" competition

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(FROM: William Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent, courtesy Slok Air, International)

Banjul, Gambia, GNA - Ghana is among eight countries selected by the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) to compete in a regional football competition, which will start in July this year.

The competition is at the request of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in celebration of its 30 years of existence. It is also to promote the exploits of local players in their respective countries, hence the competition will be reserved for only players playing in their respective member countries.

Other countries selected are Nigeria, Senegal, Cote d' Ivoire, Mali, Benin, Niger and Cape Verde Islands.

Lt. Col. Jean Batist Parkouda, Chairman of the Organising and Disciplinary Committee of WAFU, disclosed this to the GNA Sports in an interview in Banjul.

He said the Union is currently waiting for the confirmation from the selected countries so that the competition can take of on schedule. According to Lt. Col. Parkouda, five of the countries were selected based on their rankings by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

He named the countries as Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Cote d' Ivoire and Ghana whilst the inclusion of the Cape Verde Islands is an attempt to give the competition a language balance since the Island is a Portuguese speaking country in the Sub Region.

Lt. Col. Parkouda said Niger was also selected because the ECOWAS chair is based there whilst the latest performance of Benin ensured their inclusion.

He said the teams would be divided into two groups of four each. According to Lt. Col. Parkouda one group will play its matches in Ghana, with the other group to be based in Niger whilst the winners of each group would play the finals in Abuja, Nigeria, the headquarters of ECOWAS.

Lt. Col. Parkouda said the Union in conjunction with ECOWAS would cater for the participating teams during the tournament. 12 May 05

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