AYC news round-up
18 April 2011
Nigeria have dropped two players from their African Youth Championships squad just hours before their opening match of the tournament against Ghana on Monday. The players were dumped as they were allegedly found to be over-age for the Under-20 tournament.
The players are right-back Markson Ojobo from Enyimba and striker Gomo Onduku from Sharks. The NFF claim the players have been discarded for “technical reasons”, but their selection for the competitions in the first place caused an uproar with claims back in Nigeria that they were over the required age.
Heart of Lions CEO Desmond Frimpong Manso will give the Ghana Under-20 side US$5000 if they reach the final of the 2011 African Youth Championships.
The cash reward will be a sweetener for the youngsters, who are defending the title that the Class of 2009 won in Rwanda. A place in the semifinals would qualify the country for the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia later this year.
The state of the Dobsonville Stadium pitch has been described as “dangerous” by the coaches of South Africa and Egypt and matches might well have to be moved away from the venue to either Rand Stadium or Milpark, both in Johannesburg. Russell Paul, tournament director for the African Youth Championships, says they will monitor the pitch situation on a daily basis and if they feel it is becoming unplayable will revert to Plan B.
“We are very aware of the pitch issues, but we have a back-up plan involving other venues,” Paul says.
“However, there are no plans to move games away from Dobsonville at this stage, but we will continuously monitor the situation and implement our Plan B if needs be.”
Now that you've seen some of the teams in action, MTNFootball asks: Who do you think will win this year's 2011 African Youth Championships? Join the debate on MTNFootball's Facebook page.