On this day 18 February 1983 (Exactly 37 years ago today) Asante Kotoko were in the news when the club chairman Yaw Bawuah announced the compulsory retirement of skipper and top marksman, Opoku Afriyie.
No official reasons were given but it was later learnt that the skipper was axed from the team for being a bad influence on the players.
Interestingly , a few days after Afriyie’s dismissal, Kotoko moved on to the top of the Ghanaian Football League table with a 3-0 comfortable victory over Standfast in Kumasi, and finished the season as champions for the fourth season in succession.
They also won the African Champions’ Clubs Cup for the second time in the club history after beating Al Ahly of Egypt in the final.
Kotoko had lost to the same opposition in the final of the previous tournament with Afriyie in the line up.
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On this day 18 February 2007 (Exactly 13 years ago today) Egyptian side Ahly added another continental title to a long list of successes with a record-equalling third African Super Cup title.
But Ahly needed penalties for a second successive year to overcome fellow north African opposition, beating Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel 5-4 in a post-match shootout.
The two sides had played out a dour goalless draw at the end of extra time in Addis Ababa.
Ahly goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary reproduced his heroics in cup final shootouts a year before to save from Khaled Melliti and hand the trophy to his club.
A year before ,(2006) Al Hadary also made vital shootout saves as Ahly won the Super Cup over Morocco’s FAR Rabat.
The international goalkeeper was also the hero of the Nations Cup final between Egypt and the Ivory Coast February 2006.
Both Ahly and Etoile laboured on a bumpy pitch in the high altitude and between them produced only two shots on goal in two hours of languid football.
Emad Moteab’s snap shot on the counter attack in the 38th minute for Champions League winners Ahly was the first real effort of the game.
Halfway through second half a speculative effort from Cape Verdian international Ja marked Etoile’s first effort on goal, the shot dipping markedly but still going over the crossbar.
Ahly’s third Super Cup triumph matched the record of their Egyptian compatriots Zamalek.
It was also the 11th trophy for their Portuguese coach Manuel Jose, who was fast turning into the most successive manager in the Cairo club’s history.
The African Super Cup is traditionally played at the home venue of the preceding year’s Champions League winners but was moved to neutral Addis Ababa as part of the Confederation of African Football’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Caf were holding events in the four founding countries, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sudan, that year to mark the founding of the organisation in 1957.
On this day 18 February 2007(Exactly 13 years ago today) The Police in Sunyani arrested and placed in custody Alhaji Karim Grusah, Chairman of Kumasi-based King Faisal Football Club for allegedly assaulting a policeman at the Coronation Park during a Premier League match between his Club and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Alhaji Grusah was alleged to have slapped Sergeant Isaac Adu for preventing him (Grusah) from assaulting referee Reginald Larthbridge for alleged biased officiating of the match.
Chief Superintendent Christian Yohonu, Sunyani Municipal Commander told the reporters that just before the recess, Alhaji Grusah moved from the VIP lounge to the Match Commissioner to protest against the referee.
He said during the recess, the Chairman and Founder confronted the referee and made an attempt to assault him but he was prevented by security personnel and when Sergeant Adu was escorting referee Larthbridge to the dressing room, Alhaji Grusah followed up with insults and slapped the police sergeant.
The Police Commander said officials of King Faisal rushed to the scene to apologise for Grusah’s action but he was arrested and whisked to the Sunyani police station.
On this day 18 February 1996 (Exactly 24 years ago today) Frankie Fredericks, of Namibia, became the first man to run 200 metres under 20 seconds indoors as he broke Linford Christie’s world record at the Lievin International meeting .
Fredericks recorded 19.92sec to better the mark of 20.25 which Christie set on the same track in 1995.
BY: GEORGE ‘Alan Green’ MAHAMAH