FC Johansen to compete with Liverpool, Man. City & 9 others in Switzerland
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown
Sierra Leonean team FC Johansen are to compete against 11other teams including Liverpool, Manchester City and three German sides Vfl Wolfsburg, SV Weder Bremen and VFB Stuttgart in the 6th International Swiss U-16 Cup scheduled for August 4th-7th, 2011 in Switzerland.FC Johansen are invited to the tournament as special guest. They are the second African team ever to be invited in to the annual event and it’s the first time they taking part.
The teams have been divided in to two groups of six teams each and FC Johansen are in group A alongside FC Luzern of Swtzerland, Manchester City, Team Liechtenstein and two German sides VFB Stuttgart and SV Weder Bremen.
Group B comprises of Team St. Galler Oberland, the Swiss side FC Zurich, Team Vorarlberg, SK Rapid Wien, Vlf Wolfsburg and Liverpool.
FC Johansen are scheduled to play the tournament’s opening match against FC Luzern on August 4 and will play their second and third group matches against VFB Stuttgart of Germany and Team Liechtenstein respectively the following day.
On July 6, FC Johansen will play against another German side SV Werder Bremen and Manchester City respectively in their final group matches.
Four teams from each group will progress to the quarter-final stage. The four winners in the quarter-final stage will make it to the semi-final and two teams will compete in the final.
Isha Johansen, the owner of the FC Johansen told sierraleonefootball.com that they were invited to the tournament because of their impressive outings in previous youth competitions in Europe.
“The organisers heard about our impressive performances in previous youth competions in Europe and the youth tournaments we’ve organised in Freetown,” said Mrs Johansen.
She added: “The head of the organisers had to fly to Freetown to prove that our youth system is in place which is one the criterion participating teams must meet.
The organisers are satisfied with us and our participation in the Swiss Cup means a lot for Sierra Leone. We’ll play difficult opponents in our group but we’ll try to do our best to lift high the Sierra Leonean flag in the tournament.”
FC Johansen are expected to leave Freetown for Switzerland on the first day of August.
The Sierra Leonean team had participated in three youth competitions in the Scandinavia. Twice in the Mitnordick Cup in Sweden, were knocked out in the quarter-final stage in 2008 and won the 2009 edition. They also took part in the Gothia Cup in Norway in 2009 and were eliminated in the quarter-final stage.
The team had also taken part in the Las Vegas Mayor’s youth Cup tournament in USA and once played a friendly match in Spain against Real Madrid youth team.
SV Weder Bremen
Team St. Galler Oberland
SK Rapid Wiem