NAIROBI, Kenya, April 19- Fifa Under 20 World Cup holders, Ghana’s Black Satellites, will leave the country on NAIROBI, Kenya, April 13- Fifa Under 20 World Cup holders, Ghana’s Black Satellites, will leave the country onThursday for South Africa where they are seeking to retain the continental Under 20 title they won in Rwanda two years ago.
The contingent of 21 players, including nine based in Europe and their officials arrived in Nairobi Wednesday for a transit stop on their way to Johannesburg where they will face Nigeria in their opening Pool A match on Sunday.
Their coach, Orlando Wellington expressed optimism his side anchored on Italian Serie A Parma player, Bright Addae, the only survivor from the team that lifted the Under 20 world title, will prevail in South Africa.
"We have invested heavily in youth and that is why we have achieved a lot at that level and it is translating to the senior side. God willing we shall retain the trophy in South Africa,” Orlando stated.
The team has also enjoyed a training stint in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha; 90km from Nairobi which the coach said had helped his side since it has similar climatic conditions to South Africa.
In addition to Nigeria, Ghana will also face West African neighbours Cameroon and Gambia. Their encounter against the Indomitable Cubs of Cameroon will be a repeat of last year’s final where the Ghanaians prevailed 2-0 to lift the trophy in Kigali, Rwanda.
Elsewhere, organisation of the upcoming regional CECAFA U-17 Cup scheduled to be hosted in Nairobi will begin after the much awaited Football Kenya polls.
CECAFA Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye, disclosed sponsors had been identified and they were waiting to work together with the new local football management team.
“Everything is in place but we do not want to start arrangements with outgoing officials. We decided to wait for the new office to settle in and I hope we shall work well with them.”
He urged those responsible for electing the new FKL office to exercise caution during the election.
“Over time, we have had so many crowns running football in this country and that is why our national team and clubs cannot win anything. We should elect officials with a football culture that will take this country forward,” Musonye added.