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Ogum’s exit signals deeper problems in Kotoko – Jerome Otchere writes

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I’m firm in my conviction that the picture painted out there to Asante Kotoko supporters of which I’m proudly and inseparably one isn’t the exact state of affairs. That’s no news as organisations often have difficult times and what’s required of managers then is to resolutely confront the difficulties and solve them. 

It’s also nothing new when we express our views on the state of affairs within a setup and we’re met with robust denials, which is fair anyway but not the insults and spurious allegations either targeted at shutting us up or plainly destroying our persona. It’s what it’s and I know such mischief won’t change in this warped, broken world. 

It’s no secret that Kotoko needs proper sources of financing not just for the 2022/23 CAF Champions League but to largely remain relevant in the continent’s club competitions whenever its performance back home merits or guarantees participation. If you believe simple minds, you’ll mistake my position on Coach Prosper Ogum’s exit as hatred for Nana Yaw Amponsah his Management and/or the Board. 

It can’t be so but with our so-called democratic society slipping deep into a pit, where some people can’t comprehend multi-complex issues, and straightaway takes to insults and insane labelling at the least dissent, being battered with a barrage of uncouth language the moment your views tend to be unpopular shouldn’t be too surprising. 

There are pertinent issues. We’ve to cut into the glass shield to take on these issues. Insults won’t change the fundamental issues. Our Board’s present output won’t allow this club to function properly in today’s game. The Management is painfully concerned. Also, the Board differs on certain Management approaches to running the club. 

Their conflict and how it harms our progress in the long term isn’t always so visible to some supporters and I say again, the glitzy Management steps we’ve all commended publicly mask the real issues. If some fans don’t see it; I understand them but Kotoko have been here many times. This is no doomsday commentary. It’s what it’s. 

Sustainable financing, mass player exodus, finding an equally good replacement, poor player remuneration, ill-financed Africa campaigns, and unresolved petty Board and Management rift persist. Hope doesn’t cure these problems. Workable decisions and actions are what provide solutions to these problems. I say Ogum’s resignation is one manifestation of these deeper, yet-to-be satisfactorily addressed problems. We can’t gloss over them.   

The Board and Management must act decisively. Calling and sending text messages to me with ridiculous threats and lies won’t change the fundamental issues I’ve raised. The Board especially must show the way to changing the status quo and Management must stay on common turf with the Board to push the club’s agenda. Mutual respect is necessary in disagreement. We must learn that. I’m not and can’t be on the hate-campaign idle minds are preaching.

Arguing for the right, sustainable means of financing and administering Kotoko to be that club we desire to see in Ghana, Africa and beyond, with better, professional working relations between Board and Management, coaches, players and fans, devoid of upsetting the club’s overriding interest is always my wish. Let’s address the real issues. 

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Ghana Football

2023/24 GHPL MD33 Wrap: Karela United stuns champions FC Samartex; Hearts and Olympics split spoils

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Karela United defeated previously anointed winners FC Samartex 4-2 at the Naa Sheriga Sports Complex on Sunday. Aduana FC, on the other hand, settled for a 2-2 draw with Nsoatreman FC at Nana Agyemang Badu Park in Dormaa. In other matches, Bibiani Gold Stars defeated reigning champions Medeama SC 2-0 at DUN's Park, while Heart of Lions easily defeated Legon Cities 2-0 at Kpando Sports Stadium. Bofoakwa Tano lost narrowly 1-0 to Berekum Chelsea at Sunyani Coronation Park, while Nations FC drew 1-1 at home with Bechem United.

Matchday 33 of the 2023/24 Ghana Premier League finished with a variety of exciting matchups at nine different sites.

On Saturday, Real Tamale United suffered a 2-0 defeat at the Naa Sheriga Sports Complex against Asante Kotoko. This defeat at home confirmed RTU’s destiny, sending them to the Division One League.

Meanwhile, the Accra Lions demonstrated their abilities in the Accra Sports Stadium, defeating Dreams FC 1-0 and extending their excellent record.

Karela United defeated previously anointed winners FC Samartex 4-2 at the Naa Sheriga Sports Complex on Sunday. Aduana FC, on the other hand, settled for a 2-2 draw with Nsoatreman FC at Nana Agyemang Badu Park in Dormaa.

In other matches, Bibiani Gold Stars defeated reigning champions Medeama SC 2-0 at DUN’s Park, while Heart of Lions easily defeated Legon Cities 2-0 at Kpando Sports Stadium.

Bofoakwa Tano lost narrowly 1-0 to Berekum Chelsea at Sunyani Coronation Park, while Nations FC drew 1-1 at home with Bechem United.

To cap off the weekend, Hearts of Oak and city rivals Great Olympics drew 0-0 at home in a thrilling relegation fight.

FC Samartex, Accra Lions, Aduana FC, and Berekum Chelsea now hold the top four league positions, while Great Olympics, Bofoakwa Tano, and Real Tamale United are relegated.

𝗙𝗨𝗟𝗟 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘

Real Tamale United 0–2 Asante Kotoko

Accra Lions 1-0 Dreams FC

Karela United 4–2 FC Samartex

Aduana FC 2-2 Nsoatreman FC

Bibiani Gold Stars 2-0 Medeama SC

Heart of Lions 2-0 Legon Cities

Bofoakwa Tano 0-1 Berekum Chelsea

Nations FC 1-1 Bechem United

Hearts of Oak 0-0 Great Olympics

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Ghana Football

Women’s FA Cup final: Army Ladies topples Police Ladies to clinch maiden title

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The initial move to disrupt the police midfield's ball control was undertaken by army women. After nine minutes, Adama Alhassan turned a low corner kick into Latifa Mohammed's 18-yard header, but the referee blew his whistle for offside. Adama Alhassan tried a terrible free kick outside the area inside the allocated 15 minutes. Sophia Agyakwaa's powerful free kick into the area is denied by a spectacular save by the Army goalie, keeping the Army ladies in the game.

In the 2023/2024 FA Cup final at the Legon Sports Stadium, Army Ladies defeated Police Ladies by a goal to nil to win their first-ever medal in the women’s division.

Ultimately in the first half, both teams had to settle for a draw, a test of strength as the two services prepared to fight on the pitch. Spectators liked seeing the exciting midfield action and the coaches’ tactical dexterities.

The first move to unsettle an opponent’s midfield’s ball control was undertaken by Army Ladies. After nine minutes, Latifa Mohammed’s 18-yard header from a low corner kick was ruled out for offside.

Adama Alhassan attempted a poor free kick outside the area within 15 minutes. However, Sophia Agyakwaa’s powerful free-kick into the area was denied by a spectacular save by the Army goalie, keeping the Army Ladies in the game.

On the 30th-minute mark, Mary Sasu made a fantastic save after Agyakwaa attempted a fast pass for Mawusi Agbeyo, but her run was cut short. Deborah Opoku surged past her opponents with fantastic talent, but in the 44th minute, the Police goalkeeper made a simple save that should have given them the lead in the first half.

The second half began well for both teams, with some excellent passes exchanged. Deborah Opoku broke the deadlock early in the second half after capitalizing on the goalkeeper’s error. Sophia’s aggressive press took the ball from her defender after a good run into the area and a pass to Mary Berko, however, the Army Ladies centre-backs blocked a strong shot she tried.

Deborah Opoku was sent off in the 75th minute after receiving a second warning for Army Ladies which gave her opponents a significant advantage. Mary Sasu dominated the post with tremendous dives in the 84th and 86th minutes to keep Army Ladies in the lead.

Bernice Arhinful’s unpardonable miss in the dying embers of the game may have taken the game to an extra time. Police Ladies’ last-minute attempt wasn’t enough to share spoils, as they were beaten by a goal to none.

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Ghana Football

Steven Mukwala’s brace sinks Hearts of Oak into relegation battle

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Both clubs have suffered this season, but Kotoko came into the game with a two-point advantage over Hearts of Oak, and they demonstrated their supremacy with an outstanding performance. Mukwala scored the Porcupine Warriors' first goal in the eighth minute, surpassing his opponents to latch onto a long ball and handle it well before putting it in.

Ugandan striker Steven Mukwala scored two wonderful goals as Asante Kotoko defeated Hearts of Oak for the second time this season.

The victory completes Kotoko’s double against their arch-rivals, following a stunning 3-2 triumph earlier this season.

Mukwala, who was also on target in the last game, scored twice to help Kotoko win 2-0 at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Both clubs have suffered this season, but Kotoko came into the game with a two-point advantage over Hearts of Oak, and they demonstrated their supremacy with an outstanding performance.

Mukwala scored the Porcupine Warriors’ first goal in the eighth minute, surpassing his opponents to latch onto a long ball and handle it well before putting it in.

He secured the victory in the 95th minute with a fantastic effort, cutting inside from the left and blasting a shot beyond the custodian.

After removing his jersey, the Ugandan striker drew a yellow card for excessive celebration.

The victory moves Kotoko into the top half of the standings, moving them up to ninth position and further away from the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Hearts of Oak find themselves in a difficult situation, 14th in the standings and only two points above the drop zone.

They face relegation if they do not improve in their next three games of the season, which is a stunning prospect for a club with such a long history as one of Africa’s top clubs.

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