Zenith Supports 4-Nation Tourney
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Tuesday launched the four-nation tournament to prepare the senior nation team, the Black Stars for the upcoming 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana.
The tournament being sponsored by Zenith Bank Plc is dubbed “Zenith Bank 4-Nation International Tournament” with partnership from Gold Fields Ghana Limited, MTN, Ghana Textile Printing Company (GTP) and AfriSat, an international satellite TV network.
This is to make the stars battle-ready for GHANA 2008.
Meanwhile fixtures for the competition was also released and Ghana would line up against Togo on Sunday is at 17:00GMT in the second match of the tournament which kicks-off on Saturday with United Arab Emirates (UAE) sorting things out with Benin.
The four-nation tournament would be played at the 40,000-seater refurbished Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra - one of the match venues for the GHANA 2008 African Cup of Nations.
Ghana together with Benin, Togo and the United Arab Emirates would be competing in the four-day competition which kicks off on November 17 and runs to November 21.
Benin and the United Arab Emirates would set the ball rolling on Saturday at the Ohene Djan stadium, a day before the Black Stars get busy.
After the first round of matches, there would be a two-day rest for the teams then action returns on Wednesday when the losers in the two games clash for the 3rd and 4th positions at 15:00GMT.
The finals would be played between winners of the first round of games at 17:30 GMT.
Ghana's four-nation international tournament would be broadcast on international satellite TV network, AfriSat after the South African channel sealed the deal to televise the competition.
Two sets of referees from Ghana and also one from an African country would officiate in matches during the tournament.
The winner of the Zenith Bank 4-Nation International Tournament picks $70,000; the runners-up take home $50,000.
An amount of $40,000 would go to the third-placed side, while the fourth team settles for $30,000.
The tourney would afford Ghana coach, Claude Le Roy, the chance to see his team play and react before an expectant home crowd before the African Cup of Nations kicks-off from January 20 to February 10, 2008.
The tournament would round off Ghana's international engagements ahead of the African Cup of Nations.
And for Benin, another finalist for African Cup of Nations, the tournament serves as a preparatory exercise for next year's tournament.
Already Chelsea's Michael Essien and his colleagues are in town for the tournament. Captain of the team, Stephen Appiah was expected in the country yesterday.
Coach Claude Leroy is expected to have the full compliment of his team by close of yesterday and begin training today.
Meanwhile there are programmes for the both the local and foreign media to have interviews with the various countries at the M-Plaza Hotel, La Beach as well as La Palm Beach Hotel starting from Friday.
By Kenneth Yankah