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30.09.2005 Football News

Hearts dares referees appointment committee

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Accra, Sept 30, GNA - Accra Hearts of Oak has dared the Referees Appointment Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) that if they submit to Kumasi Asante Kotoko's demand for a change of the appointed match officials ahead of their Premier League clash on Sunday they would be doing so at their own expense. Ashford Tettey-Oku, Administrative Manager of the Club in a statement copied to the GNA Sports said that the Phobians would be compelled to boycott the game should the Committee succumb to the Kotoko.

Asante Kotoko has called for referee William Agbovi's replacement with only 72 hours to the game, which many believe remains as the GT Premier League's decider with only a point separating the two teams on top of the log.

"Our uncompromising position is that there will be no show on Sunday if you succumb to this hollow threat and cede your rights to Kotoko".

Hearts maintained that "based on Kotoko's illogical position, it means that if referee Agbovi is not fit to handle this match, then no Ghanaian referee is equally competent to replace him". In that case we suggest you bring retired Pierluigi Collina of Italy to handle the match at Kotoko's expense".

The statement said Hearts' initial "civilised" position was to keep mute on Kotoko's reaction since "it is our trademark to follow people's agenda as our understanding of the laws of the game is clear on who exercises the right to appoint referees".

The Administrative Manager emphasised on the need to treat the Kotoko reaction as a serious indictment on the competence of Ghanaian referees and to perceive it with the contempt it deserves.

He said Kotoko's action was either a psychological ploy to cow the referee into submission or probably prejudice the minds of their supporters in the wake of a looming defeat come Sunday. Kotoko made similar complaints prior to their first leg meeting in Kumasi where former Board Member Wilberforce Mfum threatened a repeat of May 9 disaster if the referee was maintained.

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