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19.01.2005 Football News

King Faisal gains walkover

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Accra, Jan 19, GNA - Kumasi King Faisal, Ghana's sole representative at the 2005 Confederation Cup Championship has gained a walkover to the next stage of the competition.

Faisal who were billed to host an unnamed opponent from Sierra Leone at the end of the month, gained the walkover following the disqualification imposed on the war-torn country by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).

CAF, on Tuesday, disqualified the Sierra Leone Football Association, (SLFA) for failing to name her team for the 2005 inter-clubs competition, failing to meet the CAF January 15 deadline for licenced players and non-payment of financial arrears.

CAF subsequently declared Alhaji Gruzah's lad's winners, according to information pieced together by the GNA Sports from the Federation's secretariat.

The walkover is Ghana's second in one week, as Kumasi Asante Kotoko also gained similar advantage last week after their Gambian opponents withdrew at the last minute.

Meanwhile, George Amoako, Chief Executive of the Club hailed the news and termed it as "God Sent" when the GNA Sports sought for his reaction.

The elated Chief Executive said that, "We thank God for smiling toward us. We have been saved from the huge expenditure and this is the best news I have had today".

The Club which was expected to spend not less than 120 million cedis in the two-leg duel, would now focus on successfully defending the Coca Cola Top Four tourney, which commences on Saturday. Mr Amoako however failed to reckon that the walkover could affect their form as they progress to the next stage of the competition without a fight.

He said that, "We intend to play more games to fine tune our boys before our next Confederations Cup game. I simply see the current development as an advantage and not a disadvantage as many have argued". Mr Amaoko was cautiously optimistic when quizzed about his club's chances in the Top Four Tournament that would see them open their defence against Confederation Cup champions, Accra Hearts of Oak at the Kumasi Sports Stadium on Saturday.

"It is our aim to retain the trophy and use the competition to prepare for the continental assignment, though we reckon winning won't come easy", he told the GNA Sports.

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