Our great supporters II
The saga continues. I was talking with some overseas soccer administrators a couple of days ago when they asked me what the fuss was about the appointment of a new FA chairman! They simply could not understand the entire hullabaloo! They wanted to know why the job was not simply advertised. After all every job has certain basic professional requirements as well as experience! At M-NET for example there is a basic aptitude requirement which when tested takes precedence over some educational achievements!
The job of GFA Chairman has certain basic requirements, which are very real. Although the FA has a CEO in Y.A. Ibrahim and an acting FA boss in E.A. Owusu Ansah the statutes that appear to govern the runnings and workings of the FA suggest that the Minister has to nominate the FA Chairman and one management member.
I make this point so that the choice of government can be made and seen within the context of the other players already in seat within the FA. All of those mentioned as well as the likes of Pappoe and Sylvestor Mensah are very capable. Their educational and administrative skills are highly developed and essential for the job. It is crucially important that the job of FA boss and member are not seen as a job that anyone can do.
One could look at running the FA as FA Chairman with a strong Secretary-General but that is not enough. The vision and direction of a leader can only materialize if his statesman-like stature can be matched with a sound educational and administrative background! For me to endorse any one party at this stage it is of paramount importance that I see a workable three-year business plan that the aspirant can explain! He needs to convince me that he can represent the interests of all clubs and of the nation. He needs to make or read pre-prepared speeches that can be used as a basis of understanding and negotiations!
Given the fact that most people have some sympathy for particular clubs it is important that the aspirants can convince everyone of their ability to be impartial. Without this the dissention might make the running of the FA impossible!
The time has come for the FA Chairman to be chosen by placing an advertisement in the significant media. The aspirants need to convince us of their ability to change and run the department, to raise sponsorship and to be able to run without Government support or intervention – to promote our game and improve our facilities. We need change to take us forward and the new FA boss must be able to take us there!
Our Supporters Contributions!
Having the greatest supporters, nothing should ever surprise me but occasionally some things do. I was very surprised last week when our supporters raised enough money to pay for the enticement fee of one of the new recruits! We were able in part to turn to the account established to encourage efforts from supporters!
Kwasi Owusu-Bonsu (11271)
Diamond Circle – Akwatia
The following is culled from a letter written to me by Kwasi Owusu-Bonsu of Diamond Circle – Akwatia! Kwasi needs to be congratulated for his innovative idea that helped raise monies to pay for Joe Sam!
“Kwasi started by making a donation of ¢696,000 and the names of members who contributed! The monies will be paid into the SSB account listed below! Kwasi’s sales pitch is simply “Asante Kotoko is the BEST and will continue to be the BEST. Asante Kotoko will rise to join the elite of world football if we all support the call by management and some other supporters like myself to get REGISTERED. We had been at the height of African football in the 70’s and 80’s. There is the need for our Darling Club KUMASI ASANTE KOTOKO to rise to the very top in World Club Soccer.”
The call now is for everybody is to rise and be counted. The clarion call has come to all genuine supporters to REGISTER and help Asante Kotoko raise funds for the development of the Club. The satisfaction we get when our club gets into winning ways is worth more than the cost of REGISTRATION. For me, a loss so much affects my productivity and I will not attempt to put a value on this. If we want to see our DEAR club at the highest level then we ought to get REGISTERED in our NUMBERS.
Registration will demonstrate our love for the Club. We are not registering with Herbert Mensah but with Kumasi Asante Kotoko”. If only 100,000 Supporters register at the least amount of ¢24,000.00 we can raise some ¢2.4 Billion for player recruitment. REGISTRATION has never been this easy – everyone can do it now. A million of our 6 – 7 Supporters should be able to register. It should be easy for 100,000 Supporters to register as GOLD MEMBERS paying about ¢17,000 per month. Let us register in our numbers so that we can have enough money for the PLAYER recruitment.
I am especially grateful to these people who readily agreed to REGISTER as soon as I shared the idea. Katakyie Kwaku Obeng readily let me into his shop and gave me unhindered access to all the Supporters around the New Lucky Electricals-OKAISHIE. The following Supporters readily agreed to register with the Fabulous Club. I enclose a cheque to cover the registration of all the people listed.
1. Katakyie Kweku Obeng Accra 2. Owusu Adu Emmanuel Accra
3. Nana Kwasi Barnes Accra 4. Daniel Asiedu Accra
5. Augutine Osei Owusu Accra 6. Samuel Polly Accra
7. Yaw Gyamfi Accra 8. William Nkansah Accra
9. Kwadwo Kyei Kwarteng Accra 10. Lydia Agyepong Accra
11. Mr. Osei Brogya Accra 12. Kofi Osei Owusu Accra
13. Mrs. Mavis Osei Owusu Accra 14. George Kwasi Agyei Accra
15. Ben K. Anti Kade 16. Ernest Adani Kade
17. Bernard K. Anti Kade 18. Asuo Agyemang Kade
19. Cecilia Anderson Kade 20. Mustafa Adams Akwatia
21. Kwame Kwako Dickson Akwatia 22. Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim Akwatia
23. Yaw Kumi Emmanuel Akwatia 24. Jeffery Frempong Akwatia
25. John Kwame Addae Akwatia 26. Joe Danso Akwatia
27. Kwaku Rim Akwatia 28. Stephen Okrah Akwatia
29. Amin Amoah Akwatia
I am confident that most of these supporters will convert their membership to Gold status. My joy will be full when these supporters begin to bring along some other supporters. Let us all join forces and help to register a million supporters for the Kotoko Family.
I am out to get many to register and I challenge you to do the same. To my friend Kojo Otchere Duah, I urge you to redirect your energies towards the REGISTRATION exercise. To Kwaku Oti Sarpong, I say to you join the CRUSADE for a million supporters. To all you Fabulous fans I wish you the best.”
This is what Kwasi Owusu-Bonsu said. I congratulate him and thank him as well for his efforts. I just wish to remind readers that one does not have to be a member of a circle to make donations. Any amount of money is also accepted. The bank details for payment at any SSB Bank anywhere in the country is as follows;
All application forms should be filled and returned to Kotoko at the following address.“
ASANTE KOTOKO FOOTBALL CLUB
P.O. BOX 2274
The account details are as follows:
KOTOKO FC SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT
ACCOUNT NO. 213556045
SSB BANK LIMITED
KCB – KUMASI
I hope that all supporters of Kotoko will follow Kwasi Owusu-Bonsu’s lead and arrange for small contributions.
The past remembered (culled from a book compiled by H.K.Acheampong)…..a continuation
THE NATIONAL LEAGUE: 1958-59
JULY 6, 1958, was the kick-off day – a day which ushered Ghana soccer into a new era. It was the first time that a League, national in character, got off the mark with no trouble.
But the match I shall always remember during this season that the biggest slump in Kotoko’s record of victories came when the Club fell like a meteor from the pinnacle of its achievement to third position on the League Table – Sekondi Hasaacas having licked them both at home and away.
But the match I shall remember during this season was the last match was the last match of the first round of the League: the match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko on August 24, 1958, which was “abandoned” during the second half.
My most vivid memories of the match were about the scoring of three goals by Kotoko within ten minutes!
At the Jackson Park, Kumasi, before a fairly large crowd including the Director of Sports, Mr. Ohene Djan, Hearts entered the field with determination and straightway pushed Kotoko into the defence. With beautiful teamwork and speed they gave Kotoko defence many anxious moments but right fullback Dogo Moro made a grand stand and faced the Hearts forwards with courage. Aggressive Hearts could not score until the fifteenth minutes when Ofei Dodoo flung in a long shot to give Hearts their lead. Gyamfi and Dowuona also scored for Hearts in the first half.
Trouble began in the second half when there was an incident between a Kotoko player and Addoquaye Laryea, Hearts goalkeeper, after Kotoko had scored their third goal within ten minutes against Hearts who had by that time scored four. Hearts, who had earlier protested against the decision of the referee to rescind his ruling that a Kotoko player should leave the field for rough play, refused to continue the game with only twenty minutes to go for the end of the match.
Spectators then rushed on to the field and some of them stated manhandling the players. The Police detained over 100 people, including players.
Addoquaye Laryea was rushed to the hospital for treatment as well as Mfum of Kotoko. Referee Gray had to seek police protection. In fact, it was a terrible scene and the most unsportsman-like soccer ever seen in Ghana.
Rough tackling was the main cause of the incidents, and of this both sides were guilty. But had the referee been consistent and firm in his rulings, things would not have gone as they did, and I am sure that the brutal tackling of some of the defenders would have stopped.
In a statement issued after the match, Mr. B. E. Gwira, then chairman of the Kumasi Municipal Council, called on football clubs to exercise “extreme measures to prevent their supporters from besieging the field of play in times arising between players and referees.”
The chairman was expressing his regret for the brutal manner players were assaulted in this match. He said: “Obviously, it was an event one had expected and the outcome beats the conscience of every individual.” He criticised Hearts of Oak for refusing to accept the referee’s ruling to allow Moro Gago to resume play after he had ordered him off, even though, in his opinion, the referee did not act rightly.
“Furthermore,” he continued, “Gago had played for 20 minutes before they raised the protest and refused to continue. “None-the-less, I am sure that had not supporters of Hearts rushed to the field to implore them to desist from playing, they would eventually have agreed to play.”
In conclusion, the chairman called upon the League Management Committee “to appoint referees, who know the rules and can interpret them decisively, to handle all matches. Acts of such nature leave much to be desired in Ghana soccer and much has to be done to polish teams in Ghana.”
The League Management Committee met on the matter and decided that there should be a replay because it was the crowd who interfered with the progress of the game and the referee was compelled under the circumstances to abandon the match.
Moro Gago was also suspended from the rest of the League for refusing to leave the field when ordered to do so.
When the two teams met again on November 2, 1958, at the Jackson Park, Kumasi. Hearts of Oak won the replay in a grand style. The score was five goals to two, but Hearts could have trumped up a higher total had Ofei Dodoo, who allowed four golden chances to slip past, played his usual good game.
Hearts’ standard of play was extremely high. Kotoko fumbled a great deal during the match. They also had to contend with missing links in their ranks when Opoku Mensah was sent away and another Kotoko on their own field.
The League ended on November 16, 1958. Accra Hearts of Oak, despite a 4-2 defeat by Asante Kotoko during the second round of the League, clinched the championship for 1958. But what impression the last game of the League left in the minds of all fair-minded sportsmen!
It was a disgraceful episode. During the match, police officers twice had to rush to the field to enforce the referee’s decision. Players just had no respect for him. When the match was over, fists took over. Players engaged in free fighting. Supporters fought with shameless pride. And for the best part of an hour, a whole battalion of policemen surrounded the Kotoko players who were unable even to get into their dressing room. Sweet revenge!
It had been a great game. Hearts began well and it was against the run of play when Kotoko broke loose, forced two corners kicks and opened the scoring with a header by Baba Yara through Fred Akuffo’s corner kick. Kotoko inspired by the early lead and the uproarious cheers of their supporters, made great headway with their attack. Kotoko’s attack clicked, as it had never done in the League and young Adarkwa, playing at inside right for the first time, was a great success, being responsible for the most of their moves. Hearts of Oak, however, were not to be denied their chances. Many times they forced their way through the defence only to be halted by “bulwark” Dodo Moro who intercepted with good judgement. After some minutes’ pressure, the Kotoko defence gave away a penalty and Kwao Baffoe in goal was sent fumbling as penalty specialist Addo Darku hit it home.
The pace and tension of the match increased and it was a tribute for referee Arthur Muller that it did not deteriorate into a real roughhouse. Kotoko regained the lead when Adu Darku handled in the penalty box and made winger Fred Akuffo send the spot kick past Addoquaye Laryea. Kotoko kept the initiative and one wondered where the new spirit had come from to a team, which had enjoyed so bad a League season. Their domination became even more pronounced in the second half when Hearts seemed to run out of steam and the red-shirted visitors played the type of fluent soccer associated only with a select group of Ghanaian footballers. To their dishonour, however, their defence got unduly robust in their tackling and twice launched what looked like physical assaults on referee Muller.
The arrive of the police and the regular counsel of their captain, Baba Yara, restored order, especially after a defensive slip had cost them a goal when Agyiri-Fynn scored from a scramble.
The rest of the game was all Kotoko. First Baba Yara scored. Then, Fred Akuffo added a fourth. And from that moment, it was simple exhibition. Hearts’ defence seemed to panic at this stage. Rough tackling was the order of the day but again referee Muller came to rescue and the game moved on to an exciting finish with Kotoko as winners by four goals to two.
After the match, H. P. Nyemitei, then President of the Hearts of Oak Club, issued a statement in which he condemned those responsible for the “shocking attack on the Kotoko players and supporters,” and added: “By those irresponsible acts, they have placed the reputation of the club in a most embarrassing situation and we shall be failing in our duty if we took no action.”
The president recalled that when the Hearts of Oak players were attacked and beaten up after the first League match with Kotoko at Kumasi, he condemned the action in no uncertain teams.
“I cannot condone this just because it comes from my camp,” he said. The president expressed the hope that relations between his club and Kotoko would return to normal. But he suggested also that relations between all the League clubs should be improved by formation of a Union of National League Clubs to which all of them would be affiliated.
“There is far more than what we can do for ourselves by coming closer together and I intend to put this proposal through to all the League clubs for consideration,” he said.
I give hereunder-full results of matches played during the season between Kotoko and the other Clubs:
DATE HOME AWAY
1958 July 6 Kotoko … 3 Cornerstones … 2
“ 20 Kotoko … 2 Hasaacas … 3
“ 27 Vipers … 0 Kotoko … 0
Aug. 3 Olympics … 1 Kotoko … 0
“ 10 Kotoko … 3 Wise … 2
“ 17 Kotoko … 4 Dwarfs … 1
“ 24 Kotoko vs. Hearts (match “abandoned” –see above
Nov. 2 Kotoko … 2 Hearts … 5
DATE HOME AWAY
1958 August 31 Cornerstones … 2 Kotoko … 3
Sept. 7 Hasaacas … 4 Kotoko … 3
“ 14 Kotoko … 5 Vipers … 3
“ 21 Kotoko … 6 Olympics … 1
“ 28 Wise … 0 Kotoko … 2
Nov. 9 Dwarfs … 3 Kotoko … 6
“ 16 Hearts … 2 Kotoko … 4
THE FINAL LEAGUE TABLE
P W D L F A Pts.
Hearts of Oak … 14 10 1 3 38 20 21
Cornerstones … 14 9 2 3 28 17 20
Kotoko … 14 9 1 4 43 30 19
Olympics … 14 7 3 4 29 22 17
Wise … 14 6 1 6 23 28 13
Hasaacas … 14 3 4 7 19 26 10
Dwarfs … 14 2 4 8 14 32 8
Vipers … 14 – 4 10 10 23 4
In the meantime…
Ernst Middendorp returns to Ghana today. He has agreed to field a junior team for tomorrow’s Gala! The 15th is just around the corner. We have a very difficult opener against RTU.
I found it rather pathetic to hear that George Adusei Poku had gone to visit George Amoako with veiled threats and innuendos! He claimed that he has been working against Kotoko because he believed that I was working closely with E.T. Mensah and Gbadegbe seeking his end. This is so far from the truth and I believe that he should look to doing something more productive with his time. My management has had ample time to take action against Georgido.
Fabulous – the greatest