Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko have demanded $40,000 (over ¢360 million) from the Ghana Football Association (GFA)in compensation for their efforts and sacrifices in reaching the CAF Confederation Cup finals.
They have also asked for adequate compensation from the GFA and the “appropriate state agency” for the sudden postponement of the first CAF Confederation Cup finals.
These aside, they have requested the GFA to prompt CAF to pay to the two clubs the $400,000 they have already won by successfully qualifying for the finals from their respective groups.
The GFA on Wednesday, November 24, announced CAF's postponement of the all-Ghanaian finals on grounds of state security, but the clubs maintain that “the players are devastated and management of the two clubs would be under further stress to do a psychological reallignment, as well as source for funds, to keep the teams going till January 9, 2005”.
The demands of the two giants, contained in a joint statement signed by Mr Thomas Okine and Major Yaw Larson (rtd), Chief Executives of Hearts and Kotoko respectively, take their protest a step further and pitch them against the local football authorities in an intersting twist to the aftermath of the postponement from their original November 28 and December 11 dates to January 2 and 9.
CAF awards $30,000 to the FA of the winning team, and $20,000 to the FA of the losing finallist in the Confederation Cup competition. In the historic event of two Ghanaian clubs qualifying for the two-leg final of the maiden competition,the GFA has become the beneficiary of the entire $50,000.
Hearts and Kotoko, however, contended that the reward to the FAs upon the qualification of their clubs for the finals of continental competitions form a sort of compensation for their support to the clubs in their campaigns.But“with virtually no financial support from the state, the two clubs strove to bring honours to Ghana at great cost.
Loans were contracted from all sources, and interests keep accummulating as the promised dates for some redemption have been extended through no fault of ours.” They demanded that the GFA pays them the $20,000 each from its own resources since the amount might not have arrived yet.
The two clubs also asked that the GFA demands a special dispensation from CAF for their campaigns in next year's Champions League in view of the rather awkward situation that confronts them presently.
Kotoko and Hearts, by virtue of their victories in zones A and B respectively of the 2004 special Premier League, have qualified to represent Ghana in next year's Champions League, but now face a difficult time in meeting the December 15 deadline for filling their player registration forms.
While demanding the GFA's intervention on their behalf, the two clubs also asked for a policy decision to make state support for clubs participating in continental competitions to enable such clubs compete favourably with other countries.