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Kotoko to celebrate 50yrs of Baba Yara Stadium.

Correspondent: David Kyei, Oseikrom 


6th January 2008


Lovers of the game of football in and around the Garden City of Kumasi will once again have the opportunity to make a ‘tourist pilgrimage’ to the famous Baba Yara Stadium on Wednesday to witness yet another football fiesta.

Though they have had the chance to watch three league matches at the venue as part of the test-use of the facility, tomorrow’s match, which will be between the league leaders of Ghana and Burkina Faso, Kumasi Asante Kotoko F/C and Camain Football Club du Ouagadougou (C.F.O) (2008 African Champions’ league participants), will not only be a football match, but part of the activities listed to mark the golden jubilee celebration of the stadium.

Briefing Kotoko Express on the activities of the day, the Solicitor for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and onetime management secretary of Kotoko, Lawyer Anthony Osei-Poku explained the reason for the selection of the two sides for the occasion.

“The organisers of the match took into consideration the existing sister-city relation between Kumasi and Ouagadougou, and carefully chose the clubs involved in tomorrows match. We chose Kotoko because they have been the consistent users of the stadium since its construction. Besides, the fact that the two clubs are atop their respective country leagues makes a match between them an attraction worth seeing”.

The main menu to be served for the day remains football, but there shall be other attractions that could be expertly described as starters for the main match.

“We are getting around the clock with the event organizers to get former players of football clubs that exist now and those that have gone into extinction such as Great Ashantis and Cornerstones to play a curtain raiser to entertain the fans who will troop to the stadium on Wednesday”.

With emphasis of Kotoko’s consistent use of the stadium a big determinant of their choice, the new generation of Kotoko supporters will also have the chance to at least feel some of the historical epochs of the club, and this is how Lawyer Osei-Poku says they would be handling that aspect of the day’s programme.

“As part of the programme we shall be assembling surviving members of 1971 and 1983 African clubs cup winning teams of Kotoko to play an exhibition match. This I am sure will give an opportunity to the younger supporters of the club to see the people whose sacrifices through sweat and toil on the field of play massively contributed to the success and rich history of the club”.

All the attractions aside, the King of Asanteman, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is billed to be the special guest of honour will take the ceremonial kick-off with pump and pageantry.

The Baba Yara Stadium (Kumasi Sports Stadium, as it was known then) was built by the United African Company (U.A.C) as an independence day present to the people of Ghana.

Since its construction, the edifice has seen two major renovation works all of which were incidentally to make it fit for the hosting of African Nations Cup.

The first renovation works was in 1971, whilst the second and more recent one has just been handed over and is being test-used in preparation for the 26th MTN African Nations Cup which kicks off on the 20th of January 2008.




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