Liberia’s representative in this year edition of the Gothia Cup, Luken FC is desperately seeking financial aid, as it strives ensure to its participation in the world’s largest and prestigious international youth football tournament.
Luyken FC needs about US$94,000 to make the trip to Sweden, where 1600 teams from 80 countries are expected to meet from July 16-22.
According to an official of the team, they are in dire need of funding to purchase air tickets for the delegation.
“We have made available more than US$50,000 to complete the team’s registration process ahead of the tournament, provides logistics and host of other things.
What we need right now is money to purchase the team’s ticket to Sweden,” businesswoman Maria Luyken told a team of journalists in Monrovia on Tuesday.
She made a special plea to well meaning Liberians, business people, NGOs, as well as foreign nationals to come to the youngsters’ aid.
The proprietor of Destiny Entertainment and Luyken Guest House in Congo Town also disclosed that a 23-man delegation comprises of 18 players and five officials departed the country for Abuja, Nigeria on Sunday to acquire visa for the Scandinavian nation.
The Liberian delegation is expected to return to the country on Friday, before jetting off to the Swedish City of Göteborg on July 14 for the competition.
Luyken FC is an offspring of the Luyken Sports Village, established in 2013 by Madam Luyken’s Charity to use passion for football as a driving force for education.
Liberia representative is expected to join 127 other teams from 27 countries to play in the Boys Before 18 (Under-18) competition.
The countries have been split into 31 groups, though pairing Luyken FC against Tsv Eintracht Immenbeck from Germany, Lillestrøm SK of Norway and Swedish duo, Aneby/Bälaryd SK and Åkersberga BK in Group 24.
Group matches take place from July 17 to July 19, with Luyken FC meeting Tsv Eintracht Immenbeck in the group’s opening fixture on Monday.
The Liberians return to action against Aneby/Bälaryd SK in the evening hours but at a separate venue. Luyken FC battles Åkersberga BK on Tuesday and faces Lillestrøm SK in its last group match on Wednesday.
Liberia last participated in the tournament 17 years ago, when the likes of Zah Kranga, Dioh Williams, Dulee Johnson, Melvin King and host of others won the Cup between 1997-1999, at the Under 13, 14 and 15 levels.
A total of 4500 games are expected to be played on 110 fields during the weeklong football festival.
The Gothia Cup was first held in 1975 by the football associations BK Häcken, GAIS and a local newspaper, but has been owned since the early 80’s entirely and solely by BK Häcken.