CAF Postpones Hearts-Kotoko Match
... first leg in Accra on January 2 ... second leg in Kumasi January 9 Following uncertain security, due to Ghana's current politically-charged season,the two-leg final of the CAF Confederation Cup between Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko has been postponed.
Hearts of Oak will now host the first leg in Accra on Sunday, January 2, while the second leg comes up in Kumasi on Sunday, January 9. The new arrangement does not affect the CAF Champions League finals between Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel and Nigeria's Eyimba in Tunis on December 4 and then on December 12 in Abuja.
CAF, the continent's football controlling body, endorsed the arrangement following a special appeal from the Ghanaian football authorities in view of the political tension that prevails in the country now.
Sources close to both clubs said they learnt of the development with shock but backed the move since, it was taken in the interest of the security of the nation.
The GFA and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports have been concerned about the security at the two matches after violent clashes characterised recent games between the country's two most glamorous clubs.
On May 9, 2001, 127 fans died after a league game between the two teams in Accra, while four fans were prosecuted and jailed after another league game involving the two teams in Accra last year.
At a news briefing in Accra last Tuesday, both GFA Chairman, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, and Deputy Education, Youth and Sports Minister, Mr Joe Aggrey, appealed for tolerance and a peaceful atmostphere in the run-up to the historic final.They advised against unnecessary politicisation of the games, while they announced strict security measures to counter potential hooliganism.
The Police Administration yesterday held a news conference at which ACP Kofi Boakye assured the nation and fans of adequate security for the two games. But with the nation's security staff so stretched by the prevailing political demands,the authorities,according to Graphic Sports sources,found it prudent to reschedule the two games to dates after from the elections scheduled for Tuesday, December 7