Kumasi Asante SC earned a respectable 1-1 drawn game at the Dar Es Salam stadium in Tanzania in an international friendly against Simba SC to mark the annual Simba Day Celebrations by the East African side. The massive turnout and the organizational wing of the Simba SC, supporting base and the colorful paraphernalia flooding the stadium however, sadly reminded me of how poor Ghanaâ€™s traditional duo have been run.
Boxing day 1903, football found its way into Ghana courtesy of a Jamaican teacher, Mr Briton with the first ever recognized game gracing the Victoria Park in Cape Coast. Ghanaâ€™s Excelciors lost 2-1 to the expatriate traders and students. It was the genesis of football transition across the country.
Seven years after the arrival of football in Ghana, the fast swinging and developing sports headed to Accra- the Invincibles wwas formed in 1910 at James Town. It was a wing of change that led to the formation of Accra Hearts of Oak a year later. 107 years later, Hearts of Oak, revel in the construction of a training facility dubbed, Estadio de la Pobiman.
Some 15 years after the formation of Hearts of Oak, the football train stopped in the Ashanti region. A business man by name Kwasi Kuma, created the regionâ€™s first ever football club called, Ashanti United in 1926.
Like many other football clubs, Ashanti United changed its name three times along the line, from Ashanti United to Titanics, Mighty Atoms and finally to Asante Kotoko SC in 1935, a year before the formation of Simba SC in 1936 in Tanzania. Blessed with some dare devil wingers and artistry players in the early stages, Kumasi Asante Kotoko SC hijacked the Ghana premier league, winning seven league titles between 1980 and 1990. It was a 10 years flooded with trophies.
Some 83 years after the rebranded Ashanti United was named as Kumasi Asante Kotoko, the club is yet to erect a stand at the training ground. The Old Adackie Jackie training ground is yet to be uplifted with no plans of owning an academy, a Kotoko market(shop), own stadium and other basic things related to the game.
My question and perhaps several other Ghanaians, is, how do we measure the success of a football club? Is it by titles? By age? Structures? Or marquee players?
Aside the trophies won trophies what else can we use to measure the success of Ghanaâ€™s traditional duo? A club in the mould of Accra Hearts of Oak hopping from venue to venue in search of training facilities and match venues.
Donâ€™t mistake this piece for any malicious intent as it is bent on drawing the attention of waking the sleeping giants. With over 70 trophies between them as a pair, Kumasi Asante Kotoko SC and Accra Hearts of Oak have certainly dominated Ghana football on the pitch but can be compared to like of Dormaa Kyenkyehene, Susubiribi or the Ho based Voradep. Did we learn any lesson from the Simba Day celebration?
By: Saani Abacha/442gh.com