Friday, September 4, 2009


IT was quite a scene at the Baba Yara Stadium last Wednesday night when the police worked very hard to rescue players of Kumasi Asante Kotoko who were held hostage in their dressing room for well over an hour by supporters of the club.
Kotoko had lost 0-1 to Kpando Heart of Lions in a GHALCA Top 4 match – the third in the competition – and the fans decided to vent their spleen on the players for not showing commitment to the club.
Fearing for their lives, the players were holed up in their dressing room for more than an hour and the police had to intervene to restore normalcy. But the security personnel had a hectic time controlling the enraged supporters before cordoning off the area to allow the players to board their bus. So terrifying was the situation that the police arrested two of the supporters, who were detained at the police station pending further investigations.
The supporters rained insults on the players for their poor showings in recent times in spite of the heavy investment management had made in the club. Wednesday’s defeat to Heart of Lions was the third in succession at the hands of the young Kpando team in Kumasi this year. First was in the second leg of the last premier league, while the second was the SWAG Cup match.
Management was expected to meet the players yesterday (Thursday) in a crisis meeting with the view to addressing their concerns, if any.
The whole development looks interesting, especially as management member Mr Sarfo Gyamfi had blamed some past management members for the team’s loss to Hearts of Oak last Sunday.
Kotoko have had things very rough in this high-profile off-season tournament.
Uncharacteristically, they have no point from three games, losing 1-2 to King Faisal and one-nil each to Hearts of Oak and Heart of Lions, all at their Baba Yara Stadium fortress.
This has raised question marks about the ability of the club to deliver in the coming local and continental championships.
Coach Hebert Addo has had his fair share of the bashing from the supporters, some of whom believe his tactics had not helped to inject the right discipline in the club. They went ahead to suggest his dismissal from the club
But others argue the problem lies right with the players whose commitment level is questionable.
The team’s output against Heart of Lions was a repetition of the previous two matches. The strikers appeared too hysterical in the opponents’ goal area, leading to missed chances.
For the defence, the little said about it, the better. They lost the balls so easily and any trenchant opposing attack could easily take advantage.
In Accra, the enigmatic Bernard Don Bortey continued his personal reinvention when he powered Hearts of Oak to a 2-1 victory over King Faisal at the Ohene Djan Stadium, writes Michael Quaye.
The former junior international for Ghana scored the winner on the stroke of half time, his third in three games since his return, but ultimate recognition went to teammate Eric Gawu, whose brilliant strike opener and general workrate earned him the best player award for the match.
Once a feared striker when he featured for Faisal four seasons back, Gawu appeared to have lost a big part of his shine since joining the Phobians.
But last Wednesday provided a perfect relaunching opportunity for the marksman as he drove home the opener for Hearts with an eye-pleasing left-foot strike, his first against his former side.

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