Monday, February 23, 2009


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

SUPPORTERS of Accra Hearts of Oak in Kumasi are disappointed about the exclusion of the club from the special football tournament to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as Asantehene.
Hearts were initially billed to participate in the tournament, but the organisers decided to exclude the league leaders to allow only the four premiership sides in the Ashanti Region to fight for the cup.
No official reasons have been assigned for the decision to exclude Hearts, but reliable sources told the Graphic Nsempa that it was linked to the recent incidents at the Baba Yara Stadium during the Kotoko-Hearts league match, which led to the death of six people.
The sources said but for the investigations into the incident, the organisers would have included Hearts in the Otumfuo championship.
A number of supporters of Hearts who called in to various sports programmes on local radio stations said they would have wished to take part in the competition to play their part in honouring the Otumfuo.
The four clubs that would compete for honours are Kumasi Asante Kotoko, King Faisal, Ashanti Gold and Kessben F/C.
A date is yet to be fixed for the tournament.
Already, officials have met representatives of the four clubs to agree on the participating fees and other matters relating to the competition.
In spite of the absence of Hearts of Oak, organisers are prepared to do everything to make the tournament a worthy one especially as it was being used to honour the Asantehene.
It is expected that Otumfuo himself will be at the stadium at for final match to present the trophy to the winning team.
From all indications, Asante Kotoko are tipped to carry the trophy at stake, looking at their current strength.
However, the ability of King Faisal to spring a surprise is not beyond the Alhaji Gruzah boys.

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