Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UNEASY CALM IN KOTOKO...As all await verdict of Manhyia (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE)

THERE is an uneasy calm in Asante Kotoko as all await the Manhyia Palace to make a statement on the developments in Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the aftermath of their league match against Hearts of Oak, which left four people dead.
Graphic Sports gathered yesterday that the Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, and his team working under the authority of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, had completed investigations into the incidents and would soon be submitting their report to the Life Patron of the club.
A source at Manhyia told this reporter that Otumfuo, who is the owner of the club, was concerned about the developments and was determined to put things in their right place.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu had taken several decisions about Asante Kotoko, which had gone a long way to give meaningful direction to the club.
But as happened in the past it is very difficult to conjecture what would come from Manhyia, as everybody keeps their fingers crossed waiting to hear from Otumfuo.
When he was handing over the club to the current management, Otumfuo Osei Tutu warned that he would not hesitate to take over his club anytime he realised that things were not going the right way.
He also cautioned against management using the airwaves to wash dirty linen in public.
Again Otumfuo indicated that he wanted continuity and would not want to dissolve management on any trivial issue.
Meanwhile, Graphic Sports can confirms that Asante Kotoko Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sylvester Asare Owusu, did not pocket the moneys he received from people who were scaling the walls at the Baba Yara Stadium during the league match between Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.
The CEO actually handed the monies to the club the very day of the match, an inside source told this paper.
Four people died from suffocation following overcrowding in the stands and accusations and counter-accusations have been flying around over the cause of the incident.
Last Thursday, the CEO told Angel FM in Kumasi that he received GH¢820 from people who jumped the walls but the money were given to the club.
He explained that even though he did not personally take part in the collection of the moneys, he sanctioned it because under the circumstances that was the best thing to do.
Mr Asare-Owusu told the radio station that while some of the policemen collected moneys from fans to enter the stadium through unapproved routes, others looked on unconcerned while the fans jumped into the stadium.
Under the circumstances, the CEO said, he could not have sat down for the club to lose money.
The police, however, denied the allegation and rather accused the CEO as being behind the illegal collection.
However, investigations by this paper have revealed that Mr Asare-Owusu paid the stated amount to the club.
Some supporters of the club have accused some insiders of the club of being behind attempts to use the incidents at the Baba Yara Stadium to pursue their personal agenda against Mr Asare-Owusu.
Speaking on various radio stations in Kumasi yesterday, the supporters pointed out that Mr Asare-Owusu had not done anything wrong to warrant such baseless attack on the person of the CEO.

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