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24.04.2004 Football News

Hearts storm Angola amidst frustrations

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(Story by William Ezah, GNA special correspondent in Luanda)

Luanda (Angola), April 24, GNA- Players and officials of Accra Hearts of Oak were on Friday night left to their fate on arrival in Luanda, after a 10-hour flight from Accra to Angola to play AS Aviacao on Sunday in the second leg of the CAF Champions league as no official of the home team was present to welcome them.

The team had earlier spent almost two hours in Gabon refuelling and arrived a little behind schedule spent more than two hours at the airport before officials of the Ghana mission in Angola, came to their rescue and took them through arrival formalities.

The absence of the Angolan officials further worsen Hearts plight as the team had to wait another two hours at the lobby of the team hotel resulting in the players taking their dinner at 12 midnight.

The Angolans during their first leg match in Accra insisted on staying at Novotel and signed undertaking with Hearts that they would provide similar reception to the team during the second leg stay. Contrary to the earlier agreement, Angolans provided them with a hotel far less comparable to the standard of Novotel in the outskirts of the city.

The bus provided for Hearts was similar to the metro buses in Accra and even that is in a rickety state with limited seats forcing some of the players and officials to stand through the journey to the team hotel.

The team was also not given a place to train and had to look for their own grounds for Saturday morning training.

Mr Tommy Okine, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) showed to the press a copy of the prior agreement reached between his club and the Angolans and added that Hearts even had to take care of ten more Angolans in addition to the official 25-man contingent. He said what is happening is a grand plan by the Angolans to demoralise his players but said this would not deter them in their quest to reach the next stage.

Mr Okine said they would make an official complaint to the Match Commissioner to be forwarded to CAF.

Players who made the trip are Sammy Adjei, James Nanor, Kwame Antwi, Emmanuel Donkor, Dan Coleman, Eric Nyarko, Kwabena Boafo, Adjah Tetteh, Lawrence ADjei, Alfred Nii Larbi, Don Bortey, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Ablade Morgan, Dan Quaye, Accuah Harrison, Amankwah Mireku, Francis Bossman and Louis Agyeman.

The officials are Mr Tommy Okine, Mr Francis McCarthy, Mr Steve Akwetey and Mr Isaac Tetteh all IMC members. Also on the trip is Alhaji H M Saanie, representing the Board of Directors in addition to a five-man strong press corps.

The team is expected back home on Moday, April 26.

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