Nyantakyi re-elected WAFU boss

BY: Kwame Asare Boadu

 Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, was re-elected as the head of West Africa Football Union (WAFU) at its congress held in Kumasi yesterday.

In re-electing Mr Nyantakyi, the WAFU General Assembly examined his work over the last two years and came to the conclusion that he had acquitted himself well to deserve another term.

Following his election unopposed, the ghana football chief thanked the members for the confidence reposed in him and pledged that he would work extra hard with his team to advance football on the sub-continent.

He commended African football governing body CAF for the support given to WAFU Zone B, especially a recent donation of $100,000 for the construction  of the union’s headquarters building in Abidjan.

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The WAFU boss also declared the support of the Union to Cote d’Ivoire to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Meanwhile, the regional body announced that beginning 2014, the once popular inter-club competition (WAFU Cup) will be reintroduced and played annually alongside the GOtv WAFU Nations Cup. Modalities of both competitions would be worked out at the next executive committee of WAFU.

The competition has been revived thanks to a three-year sponsorship deal from South African broadcaster SuperSport worth $200,000 per year.

“I am happy to inform delegates that our annual WAFU competitions have come to stay. In spite of our limited financial resources we are determined to make it successful every year,” Mr Nyantakyi told delegates.

"We have negotiated a sponsorship agreement with SuperSport to cover the WAFU Cup for the next three years.

"Under the agreement SuperSport will pay WAFU an annual fee of $200,000 to organise two competitions — a Nations Cup competition and a clubs championship.”

Three Ghanaian teams, Sekondi Hasaacas (1982), Kumasi Cornerstone (1987) and GHAPOHA (1997), were past winners of the WAFU club championship.

Mr Nyantakyi said the time had come for FIFA to review upwards Africa’s representation at the World Cup as the continent’s representatives had proved in recent past editions that African football had come of age.

Leading his WAFU executives to make a case for FIFA to increase Africa’s World Cup quota, Mr Nyantakyi noted that it was unfair for Africa, with 54-member countries affiliated to FIFA, to have only five representatives at the World Cup, while Europe which has 53 nations have 13 slots.

“Now the possibility of an African nation going to the final of the FIFA World Cup and even winning it in the 2014 edition, or worst still in the nearest future, is forthcoming,” he said to applause from his colleagues at the congress,  including guests such as the CEO of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Kojo  Bonsu, and Amadou Diakite, a member of CAF’s Executive Committee.