The widely publicized 2016 edition of the West African Football Union Tournament, known as the WAFU Nations Cup in honor of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been cancelled.
Liberia won the bid to host this year’s edition of the annual football tournament, formerly the Gnassingbé Cup, at a WAFU General Assembly held on February 17, 2016 in Dakar, Senegal.
Liberia Football Association President, Musa Hassan Bility informed President Sirleaf upon his returned from Senegal that football heads of WAFU member countries, unanimously agreed to hold its annual football tournament in honor of the Liberian leader as a tribute to her excellent leadership in Africa.
Mr. Bility said the technical, material and financial details were being worked on between the LFA and WAFU Secretariat for a successful hosting of the tournament.
The competition was scheduled to kickoff on President Sirleaf’s birthday, October 29, with all 16 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) participating.
However, the LFA announced over the weekend that the WAFU Nation Cup in honor of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been postponed, citing the ongoing renovation works at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex as a major factor.
But an investigation by FARBRIC Sport has unearthed that the WAFU Cup was quashed after the LFA failed to secure funding to host the event.
LFA president said US$ ten million was needed to successfully run the 16-nation tournament.
The money according to Mr. Bility would be used to improve facilities at the David Kuyon Stadium in Gbarnga, Bong County, the Dorris Williams Stadium in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the Nancy Doe Stadium in Kakata, Margibi County and the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Central Monrovia.
Togo former President Gnassingbé Eyadéma commissioned a trophy in 1974, with a view to establishing a regional competition similar to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The maiden event was hosted in Abidjan, with the host nation the Ivory Coast emerging as winner.