Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority – but in the present day of Ghanaian football, that life has been sucked out by Anas’ exposé leaving domestic league football in the country in total darkness.
On June 6 2018, football in Ghana experienced total darkness. The cause? Anas’ exposé on bribery and corruption within the Ghana Football Association featuring its former president Kwesi Nyantakyi and a number of Fifa licensed referees in the domestic league.
But in the midst of this condensed darkness hovering over domestic league football in the country, a small light sparkles in the southern part of Ghana with the aim of erupting into an inferno. That small light represents the Porcupine Warriors as they come up against Kenyan outfit Kariobangi Sharks in the first round of the 2018/19 Caf Confederation Cup on Saturday.
Hope for the Ghana Premier League was soon restored after three years of no headline sponsor for the topflight – a lucrative sponsorship deal with ZylofonCash was secured. But the biggest football scandal to ever hit the country brought an abrupt end to domestic league football, hence, cutting short the restored hope for fans and replacing it with despair.
Unable to troop to the stadiums in their large numbers to watch their clubs play regularly, they found solace in ‘Monday and Sunday stars’ [popular neighbourhood kick-abouts] to quench their ever growing hunger for domestic football.
Questions on the minds of and those that are frequently asked by these domestic league-thirst supporters are; is there even hope for the League? What will the state of the league be after the decision by the Normalization Committee? How will the clubs fare when the league resumes?
With the sky taking on shades of orange during sunrise and sunset, the colour that gives you hope that the sun will set only to rise again – in the same vein, the colour that gives hope to the football fraternity in the country is red: The jersey colour of Asante Kotoko.
Perturbed by the Normalization Committee’s decision not to allow any club in the country to participate in any competition in Africa, the Porcupine Warriors, led by their CEO George Amoako quilled the decision by the Normalization Committee by stating statues of Caf to back their action.
He said: “We are statutorily empowered by the combined effects of section 1 (under General Provisions) and section IV(6) (under Engagements) in the new Caf Confederation Cup Regulations, approved on 10th January 2018, came into force immediately and signed by Caf President Ahmad Ahmad and Secretary General Amr Fahmy.
“Section 1 of the regulations requires cup winners of affiliated associations to participate and Asante Kotoko SC is the current holder of the FA Cup”
“Section IV(6) is to the effect that in the event a federation does not organize a cup competition for whatever reason, that federation has the right to present the participation request of the same club(s) that had previously won the federation’s cup. Asante Kotoko is the beneficiary as being the current holder of the FA Cup”
“Not oblivious of the possibility of getting the nod to participate in the competition, due to the above- cited provisions in the Caf Confederation Cup Regulations, we have had to invest so much in our team by way of technical and player recruitment as well as the acquisition of several facilities”.
With the pendulum of hope being swung by Asante Kotoko in their quest in Africa beginning Saturday, December 15, one could only wait patiently in the knowledge that – the pendulum of hope swings in favour of the despaired football fans in the country once again with a win by the Kumasi-based club hopefully in far away Kenya.