The 2023 edition of the annual Cheetah Cup has been launched in Senya Breku, Central Region with 16 teams from seven African countries set to battle out for the ultimate.
The participating teams were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso.
The U-16 tournament, slated for August 14-20, at the Yartel Okoso Park is designed to nurture young talents on the continent, especially in Ghana.
Mr. Abdul Hayye Yartey, President of Cheetah Football Club noted that the idea to come up with the tournament was championed by the late Christian Atsu, former Black Stars winger in his quest to help develop sports.
“I love to develop grassroots football, to scout the young players, it is my job to discover players for them to be out there benefiting their various countries and club sides.”
He said Ghana was a hub for many scouts across the world, hence the need to put in much effort to discover these talents.
Mr. Yartey added that the competition, since its inception in 2022, had seen massive improvements as plans were being put in place to extend the number of participating teams.
“Last year we had 16 Ghanaian clubs, this year we had 57 clubs within Ghana who wanted to participate in the tournament, we had 15 clubs from outside Africa and it was very difficult to select 16 teams to participate,” he noted.
Mrs. Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya West said she was not surprised Mr. Yartey had been able to develop the Cheetah Cup up to this level.
She said sports aside from being a profession, goes on to help individuals to have a stronger mind and also opens up opportunities.
She urged the youth to embrace such opportunities laid before them, referencing the late Christian Atsu, who was nurtured by Mr. Yartey.
Madam Phyllis Naa Koryo Okunor, Parliamentary candidate for the National Democratic Congress in Awutu Senya East constituency commended the founder of Cheetah Cup, Mr. Yartey, for the laudable initiative which would benefit the constituency and Ghana.
“The youth today are the future leaders and I believe that the Cheetah Cup would unearth talents in Ghana and the Awutu Senya Constituencies”, she said.
The participating teams are defending champions Team Move, Bolga Soccer Masters, Peace Boys, New Born Academy, Nacoro FC, Asa FC, Tamale Real Republicans, and Vandrezzer FC.
The rest are Mal FC, Watta Dream Academy, AS Dyfa, Famous FC, GIHOC FC, Oma Senya United, Liberty Youth FC and Cheetah Academy.
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