THE shock exit of Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the CAF Champions League at the expense of unknown Ittihad Khemmiset of Morocco has pushed an official of the club to renew his call for Kotoko to stay out of Africa for at least the next two years.
Reports monitored by the Graphic Sports from Morocco indicate that just after Kotoko were booted out of Africa, George Amoako, the club’s Director of Finance, forcefully advanced home the need for Kotoko to withdraw from Africa in order for management to prepare a stronger team for future continental matches.
When Kotoko won last year’s league, Amoako, playing the role of a prophet, suggested the need to pull out of Africa because the team was not strong enough to compete.
And last Sunday, Kumasi was thrown into a state of shock when Kotoko failed to advance in the championship on the away goal rule. They lost 0-2 to Ittihad Khemmiset in the second leg preliminary stage. Kotoko had won 3-1 a fortnight ago in Sekondi.
According to the reports from Morocco, Mr Amoako, an experienced football administrator, said it would be a waste of money for Kotoko to compete in Africa only to be kicked out in the early stages.
Amoako, who had accused the referee for Kotoko’s defeat last Sunday, said it would have been useful for Kotoko to use the money spent on Africa for the club’s training pitches project at Adako-Jachie.
Many believe that the problem of Kotoko this season goes beyond quality materials.
For a team that has the best materials in the country, it is surprising that Kotoko continue to lose matches, both home and away, to unfancied sides.
While some of the supporters in Kumasi condemned the referee for open bias against Kotoko, others said the defeat was self-inflicted.
The latter said the one goal Kotoko conceded in Sekondi was always a danger to the club’s advancement.
“For me, I will not buy any suggestion that the referee cheated us. We shot ourselves in the foot and cannot blame anyone,” a young man in his early 30s told the Graphic Sports.
Some supporters attributed the club’s woeful performance in Africa to the exit of Coach Bashir Hayford.
According to them, there was no justification to dispense with the services of Hayford after leading the club to win last year’s league.