Ghanaian football authorities say they are ready to host the sub-region as the Wafu B U17 Championship starts in the country on Saturday.
A mouth-watering clash is on the cards as the host nation will play their arch-rivals Nigeria in the opening match of the seven-team competition.
The coastal city of Cape Coast is the venue for the tournament of the West African Football Union WAFU (Zone B) with countries vying for honours.
Matches have been scheduled for the Cape Coast Stadium and Ndoum Stadium and organisers are pleased with the preparation for the two-week event.
“We are delighted over how Ghana has prepared to host our U17 boys in the tournament that is expected to hone their talents for the future,” WAFU B President Kurt Okraku told Cafonline.com on Friday.
“The stadiums, training pitches, medical and accommodation are all at the highest standards to ensure we have a fruitful competition for all the teams playing in the tournament.
“With this we expect the players from all the seven countries to give off their best and to show that the best footballers and football is indeed from our region.”
WAFU B Executive Director Boureima Balima revealed that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has been apt with preparation, giving the regional body the opportunity to deliver a very good tournament.
“Since we arrived, the cooperation with the LOC has been very professional which has given us the chance to mainly focus on delivering the best organisation for the players to excel,” Balima told Cafonline.com
“We have been setting some of the best standards in Africa and we want to continue to by delivering the best organisation for the team to focus on playing football.
“These players are the future of African football and we will give them the platform to demonstrate that.”
Five–time world champions Nigeria will be seeking to establish their credentials when they start their campaign on Saturday with their clash with two-time winners Ghana.
Interestingly, the Golden Eaglets are coached by Nduka Ugbade, who captained the Nigeria squad that won the country’s first of five world titles.
Ugbade is confident they can triumph from Group A where they face the hosts and Togo.
“I am happy with the squad that we have been able to come up with, and I can say confidently that we are in Ghana to make the nation proud,” Ugbade said.
“Our primary objective is to earn a ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations, and then we go full throttle for the trophy.
“Nigeria has a pedigree in U-17 football and we cannot afford to disappoint.”
Cote d’Ivoire will play in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger with the two two sides in each group progressing to the semi-finals.
The two finalists from the competition will feature at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria early next year.
All four semi finalists in that continental tournament to be played in Algeria will qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Peru.