Gyan and legends
Football icon Asamoah Gyan (second from right) was joined by some retired football stars at the launch of the tournament

Asamoah Gyan's Baby Jet U-16 African football tourney kicks off June 6

Former Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan, has launched this year’s Baby Jet U-16 African football tournament featuring 32 teams from various African countries to showcase their talents before international scouts and potentially earn professional contracts.

The week-long competition kicks off on June 6 at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.

In addition to competing for honours and also catch the eye of the scouts, Gyan and other football icons will also offer mentorship and guidance to the young footballers during the June 6 -- 13 tournament.

At the launch of the tournament in Accra on Monday, Gyan said the competition was one of the various ways to give back to society for what he achieved during his playing days.

Ghana’s all-time leading goal scorer explained that he was keen on juvenile football development since that was the only way to solve Africa’s problems at under-17 and under-20 tournaments.

“Society has done a lot for my career and this is the only way to give back to the numerous young and upcoming footballers in Ghana and beyond.

“African countries have continuously failed to make significant impact at youth level because we don’t take juvenile football serious and I believe this tournament can help eradicate that,” said Gyan whose moniker is ‘Baby Jet’.

The CEO of Baby Jet Foundation, Samuel Anim Addo, said the tournament was a major investment in the future of African football as it provided a platform for young talents across the continent.

 Mentorship by legends

He added that the tournament had been given a big boost from African football legends such as Gyan, Stephen Appiah, John Paintsil and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu who would offer mentorship and guidance to the young footballers.

“This year’s competition is going to be an improvement of what we have been able to achieve in the past, and we will also bring the legends to these youngsters to inspire them as well,” noted Mr Anim Addo.

“We expect this year’s competition to be fun, educative and the best will surely be awarded and to their own benefit, get scouted and give them a career uplift”.

For his part, Anthony Baffoe, president of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, lauded the initiative by Gyan to offer opportunities to young and talented footballers within the continent.

He called on upcoming footballers who fell within the age bracket to take advantage of the tournament which he believed had the potential to change their destiny.

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