On this day 21 January 1968 (Exactly 53 years ago today) Congo-Kinshasa (now DRC) won its first Africa Cup of Nations title, beating Ghana 1-0 in the final of the 6th Africa Cup of Nations at the Haile Selassie Stadium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ghana were beaten by their bogey side Congo- Kinshasa , in an action packed match which attracted nearly 25,000 spectators, including Emperor Haile Selassie and Sir Stanley Rous, president of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).
Right winger Pierre Kalala, who had established himself as the most accomplished right winger in Africa got the winning goal for his side in the 65th minute, when he exploited a defensive blunder to slam in a perfect shot.
In the match of equals, the Congolese combined strength with skill and proved that the rarefied atmosphere in Ethiopia had had no effect on them at all.
Perhaps it was the long preparation they made for this competition, including overseas tours, that had toughened them so much.
The Black Stars played a spirited game, but although the spirit was willing the flesh was weak.
Goalkeeper Naawu, especially, was in top form and he made several brilliant saves but the sizzling shot by Kalala was too much for him to save.
Champions die hard and the Black Stars gave out a terrific outburst of attack after trailing 1-0, but the Leopards from Kinshasa, spurred on by a promise by General Mobutu, would not bulge.
In a bid to save a close range shot Congolese goalkeeper Kazadi was injured and was replaced by Matumona.
Ghana were on top at this stage but all the strength of Mfum and soccer wizardly of Osei Kofi came to nothing as the stalwart Congolese stood firm.
Ghana should have gotten the equaliser but the UAR (now Egypt) referee displaying obvious bias against the Stars ignored several infringements in favour of Ghana.
Osei Kofi was brought down twice in the penalty box but the referee failed to whistle.
The UAR referee’s shrill whistle saw the end of Ghana’s aspirations to win the cup for good.
This edition was the most historic of all the five previous editions. Contrary to tradition, the organising country, Ethiopia, did not even qualify for the final.
They were beaten 1-0 by the Ivory Coast in the third place match.
Congo-Kinshasa Line-up : Robert Kazadi/Bernard Matumona, Salomon Mange, Elias Tshimanga, Pierre Katumba, Albert Mukombo, Joseph Kibonge (C)Pierre Kasongo, Pierre Kalala, Raoul Kidumu, Jean Kembo,Léon Mungamuni.
Coach: Ferenc Csanádi (Hungary)
Ghana Line-up: John Naawu, J. K. Wilson, Ben Kusi, John Eshun, Charles Addo Odametey (C), Ibrahim Sunday, Osei Kofi, Frank Odoi, Jones Attuquayefio/Kwasi Owusu, Wilberforce Mfum, Malik Jabir
Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazil)
Referee: Mohammed Diab El-Attar ‘El-Diba’ (Egypt).]
NB: The referee for the final, Mohamed Diab Al-Attar, also known as Ad-Diba, was a footballer who played for the Al Ittihad Alexandria Club and the Egypt national football team. He later served as an international football referee.
He (Ad-Diba ) was top scorer of the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 1957, scoring five goals including all the four Egypt scored against Ethiopia in the final.
On this day 21 January 1962 (Exactly 59 years ago today) The Central Organisation of Sports (C.O.S) appointed a committee to probe allegations of mal- administration made against the Executive Committee of Asante Kotoko Sporting Club.
The members of the Committee were : Mr T. B. Maison, who was then the Administrative Secretary of the C. O. S; Mr. H. Peter Swaniker, an Accra Barrister, Mr Moro Lafia, Superitentdent of Police, C. I. D; Mr F. K. Tetteh, a chartered accountant of the Bank of Ghana and Mr A. E. Sampson of the C. O. S; Kumasi.
The following persons representing the interest of the Kotoko players were to help the Committee: J. A. Yankson of the Farmers ‘ Council, Kumasi, Nana Osei Yaw, Kyidomhene, N. Y. B. Addae, a Kumasi Barrister, Yaw Attafuah Gyimah and Wilberforce Mfum.
The terms of reference of the Committee were :
To investigate complains of the regular players of the club and to report whether such complains constituted mal -administration and bad leadership, and
To determine whether such complains were capable of confusing and upsetting the ordinary members of the Club and to recommend accordingly.
On January 19, 1962, a number of Asante Kotoko players declared that they wanted a change in the management of the Club.
On January 20, 1962, a delegation led by Wilberforce Mfum handed over a document to the Director of Sports, Mr Ohene Djan, setting out the reasons why they considered a change necessary. The delegation added that, if the Central Organisation of Sports failed to take the necessary action, a number of active players might refuse to play in the Kotoko team thus preventing Kotoko from continuing to take part in the League.
In a statement issued by the Director of Sports at the players ‘ request, the Director said that it would not be in the interest of Ghana Sports to encourage confusion and misunderstanding among the rank and file of the Asante Kotoko Club. “I have, therefore, directed that Mr A. E. Sampson, Deputy Administrative Finance and Functions Officer of the C. O. S. stationed in Kumasi, should take over from the present Executive of the Club, in consultation with the players, and set up, as a matter of urgency, an interim management Committee to administer the affairs of the club pending investigations into the allegations, ” Mr Ohene Djan concluded.
TEACHER FRIMPONG RESIGNS
Kwame Frimpong had no time and patience to submit to Ohene Djan’s probe committee, and he resigned with the entire Executive on January 27, 1962. The Director of Sports was compelled to call off the work of the probe committee which was due to start at the Kumasi Sports Stadium the following day.
Following the resignation of Kwame Frimpong, veteran sports writer Mr K. A. M. Gyimah wrote an article in the Ashanti Pioneer under the heading “Wanted : A De Gaulle For Asante Kotoko “.
“Kumasi Asante Kotoko Sporting Club –one of the fabulous clubs in Ghana and pride of Ashanti, has a disease more harmful than cancer within it walls. The soccer cancer of Kotoko starts its nefarious activities when the Club has caught public eyes and is making giant’s strides and on the apex of the ladder. The cancer scornfully pulls it down but the Asante Kotoko has never been disgraced. It might be the mischievous doings of one or two disgruntled members to enrich themselves at the expense of the great Club and the Ashanti nation but the Club marches on.
These mischievous acts start at the beginning of every football season and, like great France until General Charles De Gaulle came, this great Club of Ashanti, since 1958, had removed from office no less than three chairmen and all their executives end bloc on flimsy charges that had never been substantiated.
“Jacob Dickson Amuah relieved Mr William Donkor soon after the 1957 elections and, before he and his executives were a year old, the cancer had started to eat deep into them. This first attempt was abortive. But when in 1959, a disciplinary action was taken against certain players, the matter had soccer -politics savour. The Regional Commissioner of Ashanti had to step in: the accounts books of Kotoko were seized.
“A Committee was appointed to go into the finances of the Club; for it had been alleged that Amuah and his lieutenant had misappropriated no less than three thousand pounds of the Club’s money for an alleged securing of “Black juju” to keep the Club on its feet. It was after Amuah and his band had put Kotoko on the soccer map, winning the Aspro and the League Cups which made them ‘Champion of Champions ‘. Amuah and his band made their exits in March 1959.
“In stepped John Samuel Kwame Frimpong –call him ‘Teacher Frimpong’ –the man who gave the name Asante Kotoko to the Club some 26 years ago.
“But when he disciplined two players the trouble started. It was during the latter stages of the 1961/62 season. The fire spread wide when a star player was suspended; Frimpong and his executives resigned en bloc…
By: George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah
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