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11.01.2005 Confederation Cup

CAF suspends Heart of Lions for three years

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Accra, Jan 11, GNA - The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has suspended Kpando Heart of Lions from participating in any CAF organised competition for the next three years following their withdrawal from the Confederations Cup competition scheduled to begin on January 28.

Loins, one of Ghana's representative to this year's CAF Club Championship pulled out of the competition about two weeks ago citing financial constraints.

Information gathered by the GNA Sports from the CAF secretariat indicates that the continental body would soon furnish the Kpando-based club with a letter to that effect.

The team who picked one of the four slots by placing second behind Accra Hearts of Oak in the Zone A of last season's Premier league was lucky to have escaped additional fine from CAF.

The sanction is in line with the Federation's regulations, which mandates clubs to give prior notice with regards to their withdrawal or participation before the competition's fixtures are established.

Enock Yashin Laryea, Team Manager of Lions told the GNA Sports that the decision, which he described as the best for the Kpando-based club, was arrived at based on advice received from clubs who once participated at that level.

"We considered the financial constraints that one might have to face to sustain the team at that level and concluded it was not worth it. Though we would have loved to participate in the competition, circumstances do not provide us with that luxury".

In place of the competition, Loins who joined the elite Premiership two seasons ago and made waves by emerging as the only club to have defeated Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the 2003 Premier League would tour neighbouring Togo, Benin and Holland for more exposure. The Team Manager said, "Lions is such a baby club and we intend exposing the boys to the bigger stage to enable them acquire the needed temperament for future assignments", he added.

The team has also qualified for the Ghana League Clubs Association's (GHALCA) organised lucrative, Coca Cola Top Four tournament which involves defending champions King Faisal, Confederations Cup winners, Accra Hearts of Oak and defending league champions, Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

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