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GFA President Kurt Okraku holds meeting with WAFU officials, LOC ahead of U17 tournament

On the eve of the start of the WAFU B U-17 Cup of Nations which commences on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 in Accra, WAFU B President Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku, held a meeting with the leadership of the sub-regional body and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the championship.

The meeting, held on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, primarily focused on preparations and the general expectations for the WAFU B tournament which is being hosted by Ghana this month.

President Simeon-Okraku highlighted his shared vision of inclusivity, creativity, innovation and steadfast commitment to excellence.

He took the opportunity to advise the leadership of the Organising Committee and the WAFU Zone B team on the need to put together a splendid tournament, urging them to be tolerant and patient in dealing with the participating teams and any organizational challenges that may arise.

“I welcome all of you to the capital of Ghana, Accra, and I am very excited to see all of you ready to deliver a fantastic tournament for our people in the sub-region and across Africa. We are here as a family to ensure that we run a very successful competition,” WAFU B boss Kurt Okraku said.

“Let us remember that we are here to serve the participating teams as well as all relevant stakeholders. It’s important we are very patient with them. It’s important we go to them and listen to them and fix their problems. So whatever is thrown at us, let’s be patient, let’s be calm and let’s fix the problems.”

“In every tournament in the world, there are challenges. But when we have the passion and willingness to fix the challenges along the way, we are always winners.”

“I will humbly plead that we stay together as one family as we’ve always been since I was given the chance to serve as WAFU president.”

President Okraku took the opportunity introduce the new WAFU B Executive Director and called for support for the young and dynamic leader, praising his predecessor for his contribution to the zone.

“Balima Boureima served the Zone and he has exited. We will always thank him for his contribution to our sub-region. Now we have a new leader in Philippe Tchere . Majority of you here are meeting with him for the first time. “He’s gone through all the legal steps and been confirmed by CAF and affirmed by WAFU. He has the absolute support of the Executive Council of the zone. Let me say that he comes with his own style but has the same vision as the President of the Zone which mirrors the vision of the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe.

“I will plead and ask all of us to support him whilst he settles into his new role. We should support him as he rolls out his way of managing the zone. In his time, you may not agree with him all the time. In his time, his way of dealing with issues may differ from his predecessor. In time, he may work with all of you or some of you. But this is his time and so we need to allow him the space to roll out his plans.”

The meeting had in attendance Match Commissioners and top officials of WAFU including Media Director Ibrahim Saanie Daara, Coordinators Samira Ghartey and Ama Brobey-Williams, Match Commissioners and Head of Security, John Ansah.

Vice-Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Robert Otieku Duncan and member Paul Anyaba were in attendance.

Under Simeon-Okraku’s strong and visionary leadership, WAFU B has seen new competitions introduced as the outstanding Ghana FA leader is poised to continue his journey of transforming football in the sub-region.

The seven countries set for the youth tournament are hosts Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin and Togo.

Ghana will open the campaign with a tricky tie against neighbours Cote D’voire on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Kickoff is 16:00GMT (4pm local time).

The sub-regional tournament, which serves as the qualifying pathway for the 2025 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, runs from May 15-28, 2024 at the University of Ghana Stadium.

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