WAFU Cup of Nations is an association football competition that is contested by representative teams of the West African Football Union.
The WAFU Cup was supposed to be officially started in 2002. The tournament which was to be held in Ivory Coast got abandoned one day into tournament due to the First Ivorian Civil War. The tournament went on a break and returned on April 2010 which Nigeria’s Ogun State hosted and the host nation won against Senegal (2-0). The tournament continued in 2011 in Nigeria and all games were played at Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode. Togo won the 2nd edition of the competition against host nation, Nigeria (3-2). The last two editions have being hosted in Ghana. In 2013, Ghana beat Senegal in the final (3-1). All games were played at the Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi and Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi. The best player of the tournament was Roger Gomis of Senegal. The last edition which was the 4th one was also hosted Ghana but all games were played at the Cape Coast Stadium and Nduom Sports Complex, Elmina. Ghana won the final against Nigeria (4-1). The best player of the tournament was Isaac Twum and the top scorers were Stephen Sarfo of Ghana and Adebayor Zakari Adje of Niger both with 3 goals.
The 2019 edition of the tournament will be held in Senegal.
Defending champions Ghana will face Gambia in their opening match at the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations. The tournament will run from 28th September till 13th October with all matches taking place at the Stade Lat Dior in the beautiful city of Thies. There will be no groups in this year’s WAFU event and instead it will be separated into a Cup and Plate competition, with each team playing a minimum of two matches.There will be two games each day before a rest day on 2nd October and then the Cup final on 13th October.
The draw held months ago decided the first eight fixtures for the first phase of knockout matches with the winners of those matches progressing into the Cup phase of the competition while the losers will go into the Plate phase.
The first match of the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations will take place on 28th September and will see the host nation, Senegal taking on Guinea Bissau.This will be followed by the defending WAFU Champions Ghana taking on The Gambia on the same day
29th September will see the Super Eagles of Nigeria taking on Togo, followed by Morocco against Liberia.
30th September will see Mali take on Niger while the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire will face the minnows of Cape Verde.
1st October will see the final first round knockout matches taking place with Burkina Faso going up against Mauritania while Guinea will take on Benin.The quarter-finals of the Cup and Plate competition will then take place from 3rd to 6th October with the semi-finals from 8th to 9th October.The final of the plate competition will take place on 12th October with the Cup final concluding the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations on 13th October.
All updates of the games will be on KobbyKyeiSportsNews on all social media handles.
Kwabena Marfo (#KobbyKyeiSportsNews writer)