On this day 23 February 1964 (Exactly 55 years ago) The Black Stars of Ghana beat East Germany 3-0 in Accra in Olympic Games buildup match.
Ghana: Dodoo Ankrah; Crentsil, Anum; Ben Simmons, Addo Odamety, Aggrey Finn; Kwame Adarkwa, Agyemang Gyau, Wilberforce Mfum, Edward Acquah, Mohammed Salisu
GDR: Heinsch; Urbanczyk (C), Heine, Krampe; Kaiser (46. Pankau), Körner (46. Seehaus); Stöcker, Erler (46. Fräßdorf), P. Ducke, Liebrecht (46. Kleiminger), R. Ducke (65. Vogel)
Referee: Frank Mills (Ghana)
Goals: Mfum (30′, 36′), Aggrey-Finn (71′)
On this day 23 February 1982 (Exactly 37 years ago) Ghana defeated Togo 2-1 in the final match of the inaugural edition of CSSA Nations Cup, also known as West African Nations Cup or “Zone 3” Championship, held from 1982 to 1987 (not in 1985), but discontinued. Ghana won all editions, and indeed never lost a single match among the 25 they played. Upper Volta became Burkina Faso in 1984.
On this day 23 February 2009(Exactly 10 years ago) Rahim Ayew, first son of Ghana football legend, Abedi Pele Ayew emerged hero as the Black Stars held their Zimbabwean counterparts to a 2-2 draw on in their Group B opener at the inaugural edition of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) at Buoake, Cote d’Ivoire.
Goals Scored: Rahim Ayew 4, 67——Ovidy Karuru 5, Philip Marufu 36
Line up: Ghana-Philemon McCarthy, Samuel Inkoom, Habib Mohamed, Ofosu Appiah, Osei Bonsu, Daniel Yeboah, Edmund Owusu Ansah, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Rahim Ayew/Isaac Owusu, Yaw Antwi/Kwadwo Poku, Francis Coffie/Stephen Manu
Zimbabwe – Manyatera Willard, Sweshe Thomas, GOMBA Carrington, Karuku Ovidy, Jambo Zhaimu, Malajila Chuthbert/Kawinge Clive, Oscar Machapa, Gilbert Banda, Philip Marufu, Pride Tafirenyinka/Kausoko Thabani
On this day 23 February 2011(Exactly 8 years ago) Former President of the Ghana Football Association, (GFA) Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi was elected to serve on the CAF Executive Committee.
He was elected by the 33rd General Assembly of the Confederation of Africa Football after polling 34 votes to beat his opponent Anjorin Moucharafou, President of the Benin Football Federation, who received just nineteen votes.
On this 23 February 2017 (Exactly 2 years ago) Claudio Ranieri was sacked as Leicester City manager, less than a year after their shock title victory, with the club still in the Champions League, but just one point outside the relegation places. He was succeeded by his assistant Craig Shakespeare, who guided them to a 12th placed finish.
On this day 23 February 2002 (Exactly 17 years ago) Raymond Narh knocked out champion Smith Odoom at the Accra Sports Stadium to become the new national and West African featherweight champion. The fight ended in the 10th round when a cornerman of Odoom rushed into the ring, forcing referee Godfrey Cobbla to halt proceedings and award Narh the title by a technical knockout.
Odoom had been decked by a barrage of thunderous punches from the challenger and as he rose, he staggered into a neutral corner panting for breath and instead of throwing in the towel, his cornerman vaulted into the ring to signal that he had had enough. It was an action packed fight from the first round with Odoom carrying the fight to his younger opponent who avoided the bombs of the champion by jabbing persistently to keep him at bay.
From the second round, Narh who won a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games took over the pace of the fight and stunned his opponent with a series of combination punches, while his left hand kept popping like a piston into the champion’s face. The fight slowed down a little bit in the fourth round while Odoom sought the big punch but anytime he fired, Narh either ducked or back pedalled, making the champion miss wildly.
The next round painted a picture of glory for the challenger as he dominated and staggered the stocky champion with some straight rights to the head. From that moment, it was a one way traffic and Odoom remained at the receiving end while Narh jabbed, bobbed, ducked and stung him at will.
Narh had Odoom in trouble most of the time but lacked the killer punch to end the fight and sometimes the champion had to find solace on the ropes to remain on his feet.
The challenger appeared complacent in the ninth round as he discarded his style and attempted to mix it up with the champion, making him vulnerable to three big punches, which visibly hurt him. He ended the round beating the retreat and trying to stay away from further action.
Narh came back strongly in the tenth round and hemmed Odoom in a neutral corner, pummelling him persistently with everything he had in his arsenal but the game champion absorbed all the punishments until he was caught with another barrage of power shot in the red corner.
He slumped into the ropes, then onto the canvas and when he rose at the count of seven, he appeared dazed and his corner intervened to save him from further punishment, thus enthroning Narh a national and West African champion after only his fifth professional fight.
But by jumping into the ring instead of throwing in the towel, the Ghana Boxing Authority announced that disciplinary action would be taken against Odoom’s corner for violating the rules.
The Ghana Boxing Authority later dismissed a protest lodged by Mr Emmanuel Armah, manager of dethroned Super Featherweight Champion, Smith Odoom.
A statement signed by Justus A. Agbeko, secretary of GBA, said the GBA had accepted the findings and recommendation of its disciplinary committee, which dismissed the protest of Mr Armah that the new champion’s camp used foul means to win the fight.
The statement said, Mr Armah complained in a protest among others that upon entering the ring, a liquid was thrown into Odoom’s face from supporters behind Narh’s corner and that while the fight was in progress various object such as stones were thrown at Odoom and his seconds. Additionally, they claimed that some of the rounds travelled beyond the stipulated three minutes. Odoom’s manager therefore called for an immediate rematch.
But the GBA stated that after evaluating the testimonies of the various parties, the committee was unanimous in it findings that there was absolutely no merit in the protest to warrant an immediate rematch.
It said though there was an incidence of stone throwing, there was no evidence to suggest they came from Narh’s corner and directly aimed at Odoom. Accordingly, the GBA has dismissed the protest by Mr Emmanuel Amarh, but fined other persons found who had misconducted themselves during the bout.
Mr Kwartei Quartey and Mr Raynox Narh were to pay 50.000 cedis each for gross misconduct during the fight. Boxers Emmanuel Clottey, Joshua Clottey and Malik Jabir were issued stern reprimands for their conduct
On this day 23 February 1906 (Exactly 113 years ago) The only Canadian-born World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Tommy Burns KOs Marvin Hart at Pacific A.C., Los Angeles, California, USA
The first to travel the globe in defending his title, Tommy made 11 title defences despite often being the underdog due to his size. Burns famously challenged all comers as Heavyweight Champion, leading to a celebrated bout with the American Jack Johnson. According to his biographer, Burns insisted, “I will defend my title against all comers, none barred. By this I mean white, black, Mexican, Indian, or any other nationality. I propose to be the champion of the world, not the white, or the Canadian, or the American. If I am not the best man in the heavyweight division, I don’t want the title.”
On this day 23 February 1938 (Exactly 81 years ago) Joe Louis Barrow “Brown Bomber” defeated Nathan Mann by third round knockout at the Madison Square Garden, New York, USA. Retained World Heavyweight title.
NB:Louis reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the “Brown Bomber”, Louis’ championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles’ heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis’ reign. He was victorious in 25 title defenses, second only to Julio César Chávez with 27.
By George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah