Monrovia — The West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone -A under 20 tournament group-stage draw has been made in Monrovia, with host Liberia facing Cape Verde in the opening match of the tournament, while Senegal will meet Mail in group B.
The draw for the WAFU under 20 group stage was held on Monday, March 26, 2018, as the likes of Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Senegal, Mail and hosts Liberia learned their fate.
The draw ceremony chaired by the secretary Generals of WAFU Zones A and B Jammeh E. K. Bojang and Akan Malan was held at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex and attended by representatives of participating countries embassy in Liberia.
Liberia was drawn against neighbor Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, and Cape Verde in Group A, while Senegal will battle things out with Gambia, Guinea and Mali in Group B.
The organizers of the tournament, which is sponsored by FOX News Network, said it will run from April 24, to May 6, 2018 in Monrovia and will feature eight of the nine countries in WAFU Zone A.
The Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex and the Antoinette Tubman Stadium are the two stadiums selected for the tournament.
Speaking during the ceremony, LFA President Musa Bility said the tournament will be named in honored of President George Weah for his contributions to football and his achievement.
He added that the theme of the tournament is "14" in recognition of President Weah's jersey he wore during his playing days for the national team of Liberia.
"We all know what 14 means. It explains itself so 14 is the number everyone remember," Bility said.
Bility, who is also the Vice President of WAFU, said the regional body decided to host the tournament in Liberia in order to inspire young talents.
"For too long, we have been in search of talents, we believed that the WAFU tournament is an opportunity to invest and discover young talents," he further stated.
The LFA President admitted that the host team has not been training but said he is hopeful of the junior Lone Star boys pulling the needed results throughout the tournament.
Bility, who has been a strong critic of Liberian fans, called on football lovers to demonstrate good behaviors and attitudes during the games, which will send out a good image of the country to the outside world.
Youth and Sports Minister Zoegar Wilson said the tournament is the rebirth of football in Liberia as many hidden talents will be discovered.
Minister Wilson said Liberia will win the tournament on home soil because the government will fully support the team as they did in 1970.
The former goalkeeper said the government is committed to supporting WAFU in every means and the LFA for a successful hosting of the eight nations youth tournament.
Meanwhile, the National Under-20 Team of Liberia started their preparation on Monday March 26, 2018 for the WAFU/FOX U-20 Tournament with a pool of 54 players justifying their inclusion.
The head coach of the National Under-20 Team Christopher Wreh said the vetting exercise will run for five days and 25 players, who will meet the technical standard set by his technical staff are expected to be selected.
The former Liberian international said the final 25 players will then begin intensive preparation at the George Weah Technical Center and SKD Sports Complex respectively.
Coach Wreh said the players have been drawn from local clubs in all divisions of Liberian football and said he hopes to get the best 25 out of the 54 players in the pool.