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23.01.2005 Football News

Lions coach calls for strict application of rules

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Accra, Jan 23, GNA - Coach Bashiru Hayford of Kpando Heart of Lions has called for the strict application of disciplinary measures on all clubs to serve as deterrent to clubs that engages in indisciplined acts. "Soccer administrators must not spare any club the disciplinary rod when it engages in any form of indiscipline, since all clubs are equal" coach Hayford told the GNA Sports in a post match interview after the game between Lions and Kumasi Asante Kotoko was abandoned in the 87th minute following Kotoko's protest against a penalty awarded against them.

Mr Hayford said that, "what Kotoko did must not be left to go unpunished for it to create a bad precedent in Ghana football, since in future any club can just decide to walk off the pitch when a decision is taken against it and they will also be right to ask to be left untouched".

"We could have also walked out of the pitch in protest against Kotoko's equaliser because we conceded the goal when the player was in an offside position before he scored the goal, so there is no justification in their action" the coach added.

He described the penalty as a perfect one and wondered why the Porcupine Warriors decided to walk off the pitch.

Coach Hayford wondered why the organisers are going about begging Kotoko to return to the field to continue the match, because it does not augur well for the development of the game.

He said the necessary punishment should be executed to the letter because Kotoko is not the only club in Ghana and cannot exist without other clubs, which are often described as "smaller clubs".

" I don't think if such a penalty was taken against us, it would have been any big news, but why is much noise being made about it, is it because it is Kotoko, questioned Coach Hayford.

Coach Hayford said the club is not perturbed about the incident and will remain focussed for the rest of the matches since they are poised to win the tournament.

Kotoko on Sunday walked out of the pitch in their match against Heart of Lions at the Ohene Djan sports stadium in Accra in protest against a penalty awarded against them in the dying minutes of the match of the second match of the Coca Cola Top Four Tournament.

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