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31.12.2004 League Report

May The Lord Be With You : Kotoko-Hearts

By Amissah, Isaac
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The first leg of the Confederations Cup Competition match between the two most glamorous soccer giants of Ghana-Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak is gradually getting closer as both teams prepare to lock horns at each other come Sunday, January 2, 2004 at the Accra sports stadium. Both Hearts and Kotoko have come a long way since they appeared on to the scene of Ghana soccer in 1911 and 1935 respectively.

In domestic soccer, Hearts and Kotoko have won the Ghanaian league trophies 16 and 19 times (excluding year 2004) respectively, and thus both clubs stand tall- and -order and their achievements are second to none locally.On the international scene, Kotoko was the first club in Ghana to win the Africa Clubs Cup Championship(now Africa Champions League) 2 times in 1970 and 1983 respectively.

On the other hand, Accra Hearts of Oak accepted the challenge when Kotoko dorminated both local league and international scene for a while, and left no stone unturned by becoming the first Ghanaian club to win the African Champions League title on 2 times to appease their fans.

In the camp of Hearts, they can boast of players like Saanie Mohammed, Harrison Acquah, Amankwah Mireku, Daniel Coleman, Daniel Quaye, Bernard Don Bortey, Eric Nyarko, Francis Bossman, Adjah Tetteh, Prince Tagoe, and a host of others. All the above mentioned players are tested guys who can wake-up any day at anytime to offer their opponent a good game to worry about.It's an open secret that Accra Hearts of Oak put all they have in their sleeves to get a good result in any well tension match, and it's due to this common analogical emphasis which makes me contrite to anticipate for a good game.

Anytime Hearts meets Kotoko, they(Hearts) play above their normal level/limit,merely because they know what's at stake and they prepare so well to shut the mouths of the fabulous vociferous fans.Again, it's an open secret that Hearts doesn't joke with good matches, particularly having they known at stake being a lumb sum of money, a trophy and goodwill.

On the other hand, the Board of directors, Management Committe/Trustees, technical men and Kotoko enthusiasts know the true meaning of this all important game, and they have vowed not to disappoint their ' warriors' fans. Kotoko has good and talented/tested players in the persons of George Owu, Godfred Yeboah, Issah Ahmed, Michael Ofosu-Appiah, Joe Hendricks, Michael Osei, Daniel Yeboah, Charles Taylor, Nana Arhin Dua, Steven Oduro, Yussif Chibsah and other good players who are in good mood to give Hearts fans good run for their money.

Coaches will play major roles in this clash of the titans.Hearts has no fears because they are of the view that they have been in the save hands of Sir Cecil Jones Attuquaye Fio for a long time, and having Jones won them two times African Champions league trophies, they' re just praying topple it with yet another trophy.I' ve the contrite that the match will be a good one but in a connundrum way, can Hearts beat Kotoko on Sunday ?

Kotoko also has a top class coach-Hans Deiter Schmidt, and with his tactical approaches and excellent way of psyching his players,it will be just nice to see how Jones respond or adjust his game plan.

Ghana will be a place to be for all soccer/fotball loving fans around the world as Kotoko-Hearts will go all out to exhibit good football.However, the two games which will be played at the Ohene Djan-Kumasi sports stadia respectively, will be meaningless without adequate and professional security personnel. This's why I'm appealing to the all Ghanaian security aparatus-the police personnel, military, fire-service, red cross, prisons..........and all in all concern to save Ghana from any unthinkable error.It's better for us to spend money to send countless security officials to both games to protect players, match officials as well as the fans. It will also go a long way to help the game should the government send many ambulance cars, police cars/vehicles, military-armour cars, motors/bicycles for police personnel, fire-service vehicles, nurses, doctors and all who will be needed on all this important occasion.

I don't want to remind anybody of the May 9 kiosk so let's do all we can to protect any soul who would throne to any of the stadia to witness the game(s). All football loving fans must eschew their differences to embrace themselves with the fact that, this' s just a mere game between two teams from the same Ghana, and as such, all should be calm to accept the result of the two games, irrespective of the outcome of results.

No football fan should be allowed to take the law in his or her own hands to I will like to emplore the security officials to have plastic-handcuffs as they can use it to hand-cuff anyone who goes contraly to the rules of the security personnel.Whoever is arrested must be made to face the full content of the laws in any of the Ghanaian court systerms.The rules shouldn't be made for only the 'minnows/poor' but the police must be courageous in order to empower them to work freely without fear or favour.To hit the nail rightly on its head is to say no one is above the law so if any of the two clubs officials misconstrude he/herself, he or she must be arrested to serve as a clear example for all and sundry.

The match itself will be a different ball game, and no amount of speculation can depict the outcome of the game for now.To win this game, there are many atributive factors:good technical know-how/acumen; effective stamina, excellent ball possession/good inter positional display, aerial-ball controlling, intelligence of players, sensitivity of players composure, concentration among others.

Many a football fan will expect to see a lot of good skills from the two 'guys'-Charles Taylor and Don Bortey and this can make things puzzle for these fine players. Hopefully, they will rise against all odds to give good account of themselves to appease their fans.Both teams will try to juxpose................plans to undo each other, and by renaissance of their ethics, a good game will be at hand on Sunday.

Kotoko supporters will vociferate as Hearts fans will be in heigh spirit and as both teams see their vociferous supporters, it will push them to the wall to run for any ball which come their way.And when you hear the slogan:fabulous-the greatest/best......."Se Wo Kum Apem A, Apem Beba ! It could either be a celebration mood of Kotoko fans or a signal giving to Kotoko to score a goal. In the same way, Hearts fans will go for phoooo-bia.....never-say-die, until the bones are perfectly rotten.

The two matches will be played successfully without any problem, and so all those who want to witness all these two all important games must feel free to go to both stadia to make themselves happy to welcome the new year-2005.

Kotoko and Hearts fans will not fail to respect themselves this time. This time round, no one can point fingers at the match officials:refferees, assistant refferees, match commisioners........ for bias officiating as they' re not Ghanaians. This' s a good omen or if you like, a good one there ! Thank God !

At the end of it all, both teams fans will be friends again and Ghana football will be the eventual winner.Play in peace, not in peices !

I wish you all a Happy New Year ! May The Lord be with all of you to witness good games.

Amissah, Isaac

New York.

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