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04.11.2008 Football News

Kotoko, Faisal Honour Baah-Wiredu

By Raymond Ackumey - newtimesonline.com

Kumasi Asante Kotoko will renew their rivalry with Kumasi King Faisal at the Baba Yara Stadium tomorrow in a memorial match in honour of the late Kwadwo Baah-Wierdu, former Minister of Finance.

The match scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m. is being put together by the Retired National Footballers Association,  who according to Rev Osei Kofi is their way of saying thank you to the man who helped resurrect the association during his tenure as Minister of Education, Science and Sports.

The late minister who died on September 24 in  South Africa after suffering a relapse a day after he underwent surgery was instrumental in the reformation of the retired footballers asscoaition and was the chief patron until his death.

He also made sure the association was given an office at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports from where the association operates.

Mr. Baah-Wierdu was also influential in helping the bid committee of the country win the rights to host the just ended 27th edition of the African Cup of Nations.

It is in this light that the association is organising this match to honour the memory of the former minister and the association's chief patron.   

According to Rev. Osei Kofi, secretary of the association,  they are in talks with Accra Hearts of Oak and Liberty Professionals to also play a southern sector version of the memorial match with the days ahead.  

Ahead of the game tomorrow supporters of both teams are jumping at each other and calling the game for their side.

Kotoko with relatively unknown players over the weekend suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the national Under-17 side the Black Starlets at the Baba Yara Stadium, a result which did not go down well with a session of the club's teeming supporters.

Wounded as they are, after suffering that humiliation the Porcupine lads have set their sight on winning this game against their city rivals to somewhat erase that defeat from the minds of the supporters.

This task is well noted by the playing body and the technical bench who have called back most of the team's regular players for the game tomorrow.

However, it is a known factor to them that Faisal will not come easy and with their assurance of placing between first to fourth next season, this should send signals to Kotoko that their opponents have something up their sleeves.

For Coach Baba Iddi of King Faisal, the game offers him rare opportunity to test his off season recruitment, we have been training since the league ended while playing some trial matches but the game against Kotoko is one that will afford him the opportunity to test how prepared the players are for the impending season.

Matches between the two sides no matter the occasion brewed serious rivalry and tomorrow's duel is no exception.

Before the two combatants take to the field to slug it out, members of the retired footballers association in the northern parts of the country will engage their counterpart from the south in a curtain-raiser.

Memories of the 63, 65,78 and 82 nations cup winning team players will be brought back when the likes of Willie Klutse, Mohammed Polo, Rev Osei Kofi, Rev Kofi Pare, Abdul Karim aka Starboy, Abdul Razak, Sunday Ibrahim, Opoku Afriye, Tony Yeboah, Willberfore Mfum, among others take to the field to remember their hey days.

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