Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lauded the performances by the football sides from the region at the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
The teams once more dominated the continent’s biggest football tournament culminating in Ghana and the Ivory Coast qualifying for the final scheduled for Sunday.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, in a goodwill message released from the regional body headquarters in Abuja, encouraged either team to go all out and retain the coveted trophy Nigeria won at the last edition in 2013 in South Africa.
Ouédraogo noted with pride that five of the Region’s seven representatives at this year’s edition of the competition made it beyond the Group stages, with Mali only losing out to another ECOWAS team, Guinea, through ballot draw in the quarter-finals.
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He said teams from the region had consistently demonstrated the region’s reputation as the powerhouse of African football, adding that the community and its more than 300 million citizens were solidly behind Ivory Coast and Ghana as they flew the region’s flag to win the cup again for West Africa.
“On behalf of the Commission and other Community Institutions, he enjoined the West African players to continue to demonstrate their trademark brilliance and exemplary sportsmanship, adding that experience has now shown that there are no minnows in modern day sports, including football,” he said.
Ouédraogo meanwhile commended tournament organizers, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and all the participating national teams for overcoming the initial Ebola fears, which led to the competition being moved from Morocco to Equatorial Guinea.
“By staging the tournament in spite of the initial skepticisms and Ebola concerns, Africa has again proved that so much can be achieved with determination and commitment of our countries, institutions, leaders and citizens,” he said.
- CAJ News