Sports News of Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Fears that the Kotoko-Veria FC 80th anniversary friendly international match at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium will not come on have been dispelled after the Ghana Football Association (GFA) approved the new date of January 3, 2016 for the organizers—Pacific Football Ghana Limited.
The match, originally slated for September 4, 2015, has suffered several postponements. The organisers have however worked tirelessly, battling unfavourable developments on the domestic league calendar and other issues to secure the new date.
The game, first couldn’t come off on September 4 date because of happenings on the domestic league scene, which pushed the match to October 11, 2015 but Kotoko’s opponent at that time, Petrolul FC from Romania rejected the October 11 date.
They said it clashed with their local programme and additionally having difficulties in their league at that time, following a string of underperformances.
Greece’s Veria FC graciously entered the fray. The organisers fixed November 15, 2015 for the fixture and went ahead with publicity to ensure good attendance. As the November date drew closer and closer, occurrences on Kotoko’s leadership front threatened to stall the match.
Indeed the game was dealt a massive blow when the GFA, around that same time, announced that it couldn’t approve the November 15 date on account of the Black Stars’ 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Comoros at the same venue on November 17, 2015.
The organizers were lambasted severely by sections of the media and not even Kotoko were spared for what some deemed as ill-planning of the anniversary game.
The organisers remained undaunted nonetheless as they wrote to the GFA on November 12 in pursuit of a new date, most probably in the New Year. Luckily the acceptance of the new date came last Thursday.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pacific Football Ghana, Eric Oppong-Yeboah, told Kotoko Express the contents of the FA’s letter that said “we wish to inform you that, the Ghana Football Association has sanctioned the match to be played between Asante Kotoko and Veria FC on Sunday, January 3, 2016 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium”.
With the glittering trophy and medals for the game already in for the past months, the organizers only have to put finishing touches on their plans to have the game played.