You’ll have to play Hearts in Accra – GFA calls Kotoko’s bluff after boycott threats
The Ghana Football Association’s (GFA) NC Special Competition Committee is standing its ground on the decision to play the semi-final match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium.
This is despite threats from the Kumasi-based club that it will boycott the match if it is not played at a neutral ground.
“As already indicated in the Competition Management System, the semifinal match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko still remains at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday, June 13, 2019,” it said in a statement.
The game between Ghana’s two biggest was scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at the Accra Sports Stadium but that appears to be in doubt following Kotoko’s decision.
The Porcupine Warriors also requested that the tie could be played over two legs, a situation they feel will be fairer to both sides, both financially and on the pitch.
The club believes that with the game set to be played at the Accra Sports Stadium, the traditional home ground of Hearts of Oak, their opponents would naturally benefit the most from the game proceeds and fan support.
Kotoko believes that this is unfair, calling for all gate proceeds to be shared equally between the clubs.
However, in their response to Kotoko, the GFA NC Special Competition Committee said it could not “accede to their requests”, adding that the semi-final would proceed as scheduled.
The Committee also said that it cannot change the disbursement formula for the sharing of gate proceeds.
This means that 40% of the proceeds will go to Hearts with the Normalisation Committee and Kotoko splitting the remaining 60%.
Kotoko, however, insist they will not “succumb to any pressure” and “accept any decision bereft of any justice or fairness” in spite of its support for the normalisation programme.
“Management is of the firm conviction that the posture of the FA is not only disheartening but an impediment to proper planning and preparation ahead of the games.”
Management however wishes to reiterate that it would only accept the decision by the FA for the one-off semi-final match provided that it would be played on a neutral ground and the game proceeds shared equally between the two clubs.”
Hearts and Kotoko were paired in the semi after the Accra club finished top of Group B of the NC Special Competition Tier 1 while the latter were runners up to Ashgold in Group A.