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25.07.2004 Football News

Mob Disrupted Hearts Training But . . .

By Graphic

A 22-man mob, trading in superstition, halted Accra Hearts of Oak's first training session in Rufisque on the eve of their Confederation Cup tie against AS Douanes which ended goalless last Saturday for Hearts to qualify on a 1-0 aggregate.

Willing to trade anything to frustrate Hearts' training programme, the youth courted the anger of the Hearts players with abusive language and physical intimidation. And even when Coach Ernst Middendorp and his players walked off the field after just 25 minutes of warm up, they remained under the verbal torments and threats of the band of thugs.

The youngmen had walked into one of the posts of the sub-standard field, whose credentials as host of an international game Coach Middendorp had doubted, and broke three eggs at separate times.

Each one came with its own abuses, but as they got frustrated at Hearts' indifference to the plot, the Senegalese youth carried it further with clear instructions to the visitors not to continue with the training.

And from that point Hearts players, coach and other officials walked into their bus for another 35-minute drive to their hotel. Hearts, protested officially to the Match Commissioner, who, like the Algerian referee and his assistants, was reported to have complained of unsuitable accommodation at the pre-match conference.

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