08.04.2005 Sports News

The die is cast for Olympics

08.04.2005 LISTEN

(A GNA Feature of by William Ezah)

Accra, April 8, GNA - Accra Great Olympics, one of the oldest clubs in the history of Ghana football, after years of internal wrangling has now seen the need to bury their hatchets for the club to enjoy some peace.

The decision of the feuding parties to reconcile is a step in the right direction and must be commended, as it would create the right platform for the revival of the club.

It is no doubt that the contributions of the once wonder club towards the national teams cannot be overlooked. Recent names like Laryea Kingston, Aziz Ansah, Osei Boateng, Dan Quaye, Richard Kingston, Razak Pimpong, Awulaey Quaye Junior have all contributed immensely towards the national course.

It is, however, sad that the club has found its way into relegation and would be competing in the Division One League, which is often described as the wilderness of Ghana soccer.

However, the decision of the feuding parties to come together is rather late because it came at a time that the club had already fallen prey to the relegation menace.

Interestingly, the present precarious situation of the club is as a result of the long battle between the feuding parties over ownership. The internal wrangling led to series of court cases, player hostages, alleged payment of losing bonuses to players as well as brainwashing the playing body not to put in their best for a particular party to its mischievous aim.

There were instances where a section of the playing body trained at Tema under a different management, while another group also trained at the club's traditional pitch at Labadi under a different management.

This, no doubt, affected the club's chances of staying in the premiership as competent brains like coach David Duncan, J.E. Sarpong, Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie, Mohamed Polo and Dauda Lutterodt were unable to rescue the club from going to relegation.

It is, therefore, surprising that the two sides only decided to come together just when the club has been relegated all in the name of developing Olympics.

At Thursday's Congress of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr David Fugah, one of the feuding parties and an architect of the legal battle, argued albeit in vain why the club must not be relegated. Mr R.O Solomon, a member of the Olympics family lend his support in trying to lobby the house why the club should stay in the premiership but their case was thrown out.

Had they joined forces long ago, the club would not have been relegated for them to be fighting a losing battle.

It must be noted that, ever since the wrangling started, Olympics had had to escape relegation by the skin of their teeth. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to conjure the "magic" that has helped them escape joining Division One.

A review of the relegation process would have spelt doom for Ghana soccer since it would serve as a bad precedent for the premier league. Brong Ahafo United, one of the two clubs relegated to Division One also suffered from the same internal wrangling.

Olympics have now reaped the negative effects of in-fighting and as the soccer fraternity mourns with them, it only sends a good signal to other clubs who are on the verge of battling each other.

Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko have to learn great lessons from the Olympics example for they would also not be spared the "rod of justice" if they find themselves in the same situation.

Hearts are yet to completely finish off their legal battle with Bright Akwetey, a former Board Secretary, while Kotoko are witnessing an embarrassing "pull him down" syndrome.

The earlier they smoke the peace pipe, the better it would be for both clubs.

It is in the light of this that all clubs involved in any form of internal struggle must be on the look out. For Olympics, the decision to come together is a positive step, but the die is already cast.

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