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22.11.2005 Football News

Doubts over ECOWAS/WAFU Anniversary Tournament

By GNA
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Accra, Nov 22, GNA - Doubts appear to be swirling over whether the much published Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 30th anniversary soccer tournament would come off as scheduled. This is because with days to the tentative November 21-24 date for the tournament to take off, the organisers are yet to communicate to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) as to whether the tournament would indeed take place.

According to Mr Kofi Nyantekyi, Acting Chairman of the GFA, the Association is yet to receive any information from EECOWAS Secretariat, organisers of the tournament confirming the start of the tournament. He said from the look of things, without confirmation from the Ecowas Secretariat, Ghana cannot send her contingent to Abuja. The tournament to be played in the form of a novelty mini league is in commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which is organising it in collaboration with the West Africa Football Union (WAFU).

The four-nation tournament will have three other West African countries, Nigeria the host, Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire and the Gambia. The national under-21 team, the Black Satellites, who are scheduled to take part in the competition, qualified to the final phase of the competition by winning its zone in a four-nation qualifier played at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra from September 14 -17 2005. Countries involved in the Ghana's zone during the qualifiers were Benin, Niger and Senegal.

According to the rules of the tournament, winners of Zones A and B will join host nation Nigeria for the final phase of the competition originally scheduled for October, with the fourth team being the best runner up from the two zones.

Cote D'Ivoire also won their Zone played in Abidjan, whilst Gambia completed the list by being the best runner up from the two zones. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place from October 20-22 last month but was pushed back to November in view of the Ramadan fasting.

Meanwhile, the Satellites have been reassembled to camp for the second time in as many months after the rescheduling of the event.

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