CAF propose special tournament for World Cup participants

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Luanda, Angola, Jan. 19, GNA - The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has proposed the organization of a special tournament for the six African countries that have qualified for the 2010 Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in South Africa.

The competition is to serve as a preparatory ground for the six countries in order to assess their strengths and weakness before the competition.

CAF made the proposal at a special meeting organized last week and attended by the presidents of the six associations that have qualified for the World Cup.

The meeting also strategized on how to mobilize supporters across the continent in order to bring out the best in them.

Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) who represented Ghana at the meeting disclosed this to the GNA Sports in and interview and said the two proposals by the continent's controlling body were laudable but the practical aspect will be difficult to implement.

He said playing in a competition in May will be a difficult assignment for the nations that have qualified for the World Cup, because all the six countries have booked series of friendly matches ahead of the World Cup.

According to the FA President, they have signed contracts with several countries to play friendlies with them and they are committed to fulfil their parts of the agreement.

Mr Nyantakyi said failing to play such friendlies in favour of a CAF organized competition will be a breach of the contracts by the six participating countries.

He said the second proposal by CAF on the mobilization of supporters to South Africawill be an expensive venture taking into consideration the cost of air fares, movement of supporters around the match venues as well as the cost of match tickets for the supporters.

The President of the FA said the two proposals will come with serious practical difficulties because of the challenges involved in moving them around the various venues coupled with the high cost of tickets since that will pose a lot of financial difficulties to the organization of supporters to the competition.

He said the various FA's proposed to CAF to support the participating teams with financial support since that will enhance their preparations for the competition.

Mr Nyantakyi however said CAF did not give any specific response to their concerns, adding that the continental body have given indications of returning to the countries in due time.

Ghana will be participating in the 2010 competition alongside Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and hosts South Africa, for the world's most popular sporting event in the middle of the year.

Mr Nyantakyi said he was confident CAF will give a positive response to their proposals in a bid to ensure the best of performance from the participating teams.

Africa's best performance in the competition has been a quarter finals berth by Cameroon and Senegal in 1990 and 2006 respectively and the continent is seeking to enhance its performance by using the hosting opportunity.

From: William Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent in Luanda, Angola, courtesy Ministry of Youth and Sports