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ABEOKUTA, IJEBU-ODE TO HOST 2011 WAFU CUP

By NBF News
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The eight-nation tournament will hold from April 28 to May 8, according to WAFU Secretary General, Aka Malan, who said yesterday that plans were already on ground to ensure a hitch-free tourney, adding that the champion of CONCACAF region, Tanzania, has been invited to the tourney.

The WAFU scribe said that calls for entries have already been sent to member-federations, who wish to take part in the tournament. The regional tournament will see eight of the strongest teams converging in Abeokuta and Ijebu-Ode, cities in Ogun State, which is fast becoming a football destination in Nigeria.

There are three Premier League teams, including Sunshine Stars of Akure and Crown of Ogbomoso, which will play their home matches in the different stadia scattered across the state. The last edition of the annual event was won by the Daniel Amokachi-led Super Eagles of Nigeria, which defeated the Teranga Lions of Senegal 2-0 in a keenly contested final at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta to lift the giant trophy donated by Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel.

The competition produced stars such as Ahmed Musa, Thankgod Ike, Terna Suswan and Ejike Uzoenyi, among others who have gone on to be capped at full international level. The 2010 edition had in attendance countries like Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and host, Nigeria.

West Africa is regarded as the powerhouse of African football. The sub-region was represented by three countries – Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire – at the last World Cup hosted in South Africa, where the Black Queens of Ghana went on to reach the quarter-final of the Mundial.