Not many people know about WAFU Cup, probably because it is just a regional competition that has not received the required publicity that it should. The lack of sponsorship by top companies to show case the raw talent that abounds in the region has makes the competition virtually none existence for most people within the region, Africa and the world at large. The West African Football Union Nations Cup was inaugurated in the year 1974. The First trophy to be used for the tournament was donated by the President of Togo Gnassingbe Eyadema
The WAFU Cup as it is now popularly called, was to be contested for by all the representative of football teams within the West African region. Only locally based football players plying their trade within the region were allowed to participate in the WAFU tournament. The restriction to bar away professional players who plays abroad was basically adopted in order to give young budding talented footballers from the West Africa the platform to showcase their skills.
|WAFU CUP LOGO (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)|
The WAFU tournament was supposed to be a miniature African Cup of Nations for the region but lack of proper planning by the organizers had most often cripple the shine of the event.
Historical Facts about the West African Football Union Cup
The first WAFU Cup tournament took place in Abidjan where the host country Cote d’ Ivoire won the inaugural cup. Even though the competition was inaugurated in 1974, the tournament was officially came into lime light in 2002. The second edition of the WAFU Cup was hosted in Ogun State, Nigeria in 2010. The tournament ended with Nigeria winning Senegal at the final of the event. The third WAFU tournament took place again in Nigeria in 2011. This time Nigeria lost to go at the final of the tournament. The fourth and fifth WAFU Cup was hosted by the current champion Ghana in 2013 and 2017 respectively. In both tournaments, Ghana won the cup. The fifth edition which was recently concluded in Ghana saw Ghana beating Nigeria in the final of the competition to win the cup.
The number of teams that participated in the last edition of the WAFU Cup in Ghana was just eight (8). I am optimistic that in the nearest future, the number of West African Countries participating in the tournament will increase as the competition receive adequate exposure and publicity from sponsors within the region, across Africa and the world at large. As Ghana continues to bask in the euphoria of their second victory in a row, the entire West Africa nations celebrate the victory with them.