Accra, Dec. 9, GNA - The late arrival of Nigerian team, Yobe Rollers marred the opening day of the 22nd African Cup of Clubs Championship on Thursday at the National Hockey Stadium in Accra.
The Nigerian team was yet to arrive as at 13h00 GMT, keeping the tournament in the dark regarding their continuous participation in the competition that spans till December 18, 2010.
The female team of Yobe Rollers were expected to open the championship against compatriots Heartland at 0700 GMT whilst their male counterparts were scheduled to play Strathmore of Kenya four hours later. Officials of the Organizing Committee expressed dismay at the delayed arrival of Yobe Rollers, after other Nigerian teams have arrived for the championship.
An official of the Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF) told GNA Sports that the Nigerian team is expected in town by the close of the day. "We don't know why they haven't reported till now. We called them and they said they have reached Vume (in the Volta Region) on their way to Accra.
"We will inquire from them what caused the delay." The AfHF official noted that Yobe Rollers may be permitted to continue with the tournament after the payment of a fine to be determined by the Organizing Committee.
"If they arrive, they will be fined and their matches will be rescheduled."
Officials of the AhHF were confident of the arrival of the Nigerian team before the official opening ceremony to be performed by Vice President John Dramani Mahama before the evening games. Meanwhile, Kenyan side Telecom Orange whacked Sharkia of Egypt 5-0 in opening Ladies game. The participating teams are Heartland and Yobe Queens from Nigeria, Orange from Kenya and Sharkia from Egypt as well as Extinguishers and Reformers of host country Ghana in the ladies category. The male category has Sharkia and Police from Egypt, Strathmore of Kenya, Yobe and Niger Flickers from Nigeria and Trustees and Golden Sticks from Ghana. 09 Dec. 10