Lone Star Under 20 Meets La Cote d’Ivoire in WAFU Opening Match Today
Monrovia – Liberia Under 20 National Football team and their counterparts from La Côte d’Ivoire will kick off the 2018 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) under 20 tournaments at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex today, Tuesday, April 24.
Report by Christopher C. Walker, [email protected]
The Junior, Red, White and Blue boys have been placed in Group one of the tournament alongside Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde who withdraw from the tournament at the last minute due to political and administrative reason. They were replaced by WAFU zone B, La Cote d’Ivoire.
The visitors arrived in the country on Monday, April 23, to honor the tournament. The Elephants of La Côte d’Ivoire have always been a tough opponent for the Lone Star of Liberia in all competitions and at all levels.
Lone Star head coach Christopher Wreh told Frontpage Africa during the draw yesterday that his team is ready to challenge any team in the tourney.
Wreh added that players that he has called on the team are the best the country has and believed that if we all support the team, the kids can deliver the needed result.
An 18-man squad of the home side moved to camp on Sunday, April 22, something Wreh feels should have been done earlier.
“We have talented players here in Liberia; all we need is support and they could be more than George Weah, James Debbah and even me but the issue of ‘no money’ is the order of the day.”
“Our group is a very good one and I have faith in my boys to reach the knockout and go on to the final because many of them have international experience,” the coach, who is a former Arsenal striker, said.
A total of eight countries will participate in the WAFU under 20 tournament, which will run from April 24 to May 6, 2018 at the SKD Sports Complex and the Antionette Tubman Stadium.
Group Two consist of Senegal, Mali, The Gambia and Guinea with Senegal facing Mali in the opening match of the group.
The local organizing chairman of the tournament, Sekou Konneh said that it is a great event for Liberia as a country.
“In the history of our country, if I can recall the last time we hosted a tournament of such was the opening of the SKD Sports Complex and the 1979 six-nation tournament that was won by Liberia.”
“So this tournament is important for us as a country and most importantly when we have a President, who is a former World Best Player. We want to appreciate WAFU for giving us this opportunity and challenge.” Konneh said.
He called on every stakeholder and ordinary Liberians and the media to get involved in the tournament for a successful international WAFU.
For his part the Secretary General of WAFU, Jammeh Bojang, said all is set for the first international tournament in Liberia after 10 years.
According to him, security, accommodation, game venues and practice pitches are all settled by the organizers.
“We are delighted to announce to you that after delays in hosting this tournament, we have finally arrived.”
The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the LFA has done well for this tournament coming to Liberia and we are optimistic of a successful tournament.
“We want to remind you since 2015 WAFU executive committee sent a proposal to have this tournament in Monrovia. It shows the world that we are not suffering from the dreadful disease that destabilizes the country.”