Asante Kotoko to represent Ghana in African Champions LeagueBy XINHUA | Wednesday, May 30 2012 at 14:07
Ghana's Kumasi Asante Kotoko will represent the country in the prestigious Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League next year.
Kotoko were crowned champions of the 2011/2012 Glo premier league in the Garden City of Kumasi last Sunday, making it a 21st feat for the "Porcupine Warriors", the highest by any team in the West African country.
The team accordingly returns to the continent's premier club competition after three years absence by virtue of topping the premier league table with 63 points.
Ashanti Gold of Obuasi came a distant second with 49 points.
Asante Kotoko's title has received a lot of commendation from a cross-section of the football fraternity across the nation, including the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), which praised the team for winning the premier league title.
A statement signed by SWAG General Secretary William Ezah received on Tuesday said the success of Kotoko at the end of the just concluded season was a clear demonstration of good managerial skills and personal commitment on the part of the playing body.
"Kotoko have also demonstrated that they are indeed giants in Ghana football and relevant to the development of the game in the country," the statement said.
It urged the team to remain focused and not be swayed by the success, knowing that the task ahead could be more daunting.
"As representatives at the next Confederation Africa Football ( CAF) Champions League competition, we are convinced that you would take steps to build a more formidable squad for the competition," it said.
"We have no doubt that the club is experienced enough to make the desired impact at the continental competition, and we believe with an improved level of commitment and dedication, you would rewrite your history on the continent," it added.
Kotoko is one of the biggest and most successful professional football clubs in Ghana as well as being one of the more successful teams in Africa, having won 21 national league titles.
They have also twice won the CAF African Cup of Champions (now Champions League) in 1970 and 1983. The club was adjudged Africa's best club of the 20th century in 2009 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, an international organization recognized by world football governing body, FIFA.
In July 2011, Kotoko and English Premier League club Sunderland signed a partnership agreement, which will see Sunderland offering practical support and advice in youth coaching, player development, fitness and medical matters as well as football business strategy to Kotoko.
The deal enabled Kotoko head coach Maxwell Konadu to join Sunderland on a two-week coaching program. At Sunderland Konadu also learned from manager Martin O'Neil during and joined the Black Cats technical bench for a game.
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