Accra, Nov. 4, GNA - Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club last Friday returned the Confederations Cup they won in 2004 back to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The decision of the Club to return the Cup through the Ghana Football Association is in accordance with the requirements of Article 1(2) of the CAF Regulations which enjoined holders to return the Cup one month before the second leg finals.
Hearts defeated fellow Ghanaian soccer rivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko on penalties in the finals of the Confederations Cup in Kumasi to be the first team to lift the trophy in its maiden edition. Nigeria's Dolphin and Morocco's AS FAR are competing in the finals of this year's edition with the first leg to be hosted by the Nigerians at Port Harcourt on Sunday.
A Press statement issued by Ashford Tetteh-Oku, Administrative Manager of Hearts copied to the GNA Sports said despite the successful premiere of the Club, Hearts were denied the right of automatic defence of the Cup.
Mr Tetteh-Oku said the decision was due to a CAF ruling that stated that Hearts by virtue of winning the 2004 GT Premier league should participate in the 2005 MTN/Confederations League, which takes precedence over the Confederations Cup.
He said incidentally the side that eliminated Hearts at the one- sixteenth stage, Dolphins of Nigeria also got eliminated at the quarter stage but are now in the finals and would be facing the Royal Armed Forces (AS FAR) of Morocco to decide who wins the second edition as well as to who becomes either the first Nigerian or Moroccan side to lift the Cup.