Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Prez Cup is on: Hearts - Wise preview

Tomorrow is Republic Day in Ghana, meaning that we have yet another public holiday. The day is basically to celebrate the anniversary of Ghana's attainment of a republic status in 1960.

But all the football talk has been about the 2009 MTN President’s Cup which will be played tomorrow. Hearts and Eleven Wise have been chosen to play this year.

This year’s cup comes with some interesting fixtures which will see ex-footballers meeting Members of Parliament (MPs); the Actors’ Guild meeting GHALCA; and the Media clashing with MUSIGA.

The Premier League Board of the Ghana Football Association says it has secured the biggest sponsorship so far to make the game worthwhile.

The 2009 MTN President’s Cup is the biggest in the long history of the annual event, organisers say.


The National Sports Council (NSC) has assured all of us of firm security for the game which will be organized by the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA). I would want to believe them because they did a good job with tightening things up when Hearts played Kotoko in the El Classico. Don't forget that there'll be expectations of a huge crowd.

I’m told that the Metro Mass Transit has agreed to provide 20 buses to convey supporters of the two main football clubs playing on day to the Ohene Djan Stadium.

Eight buses are billed to convey supporters of Eleven Wise from Sekondi, Elmina and Cape Coast.

Supporters of Accra Hearts of Oak will be transported from Nsawam, Kasoa, Madina, Adenta, Ashaiman, Tema, Achimota and other suburbs of Accra at discounted fares.


Hearts and Eleven Wise are entitled to an appearance fee of 12,000 Ghana cedis each with the eventual winner picking an extra 7,000 (about $5000) Ghana cedis and a trophy.

The event has been christened MTN President's Cup 2009 following 65,000 Ghana cedis pumped towards its successful organization by the telecom giant. GHALCA, Hearts and Eleven Wise will each be entitled to 20 percent of the gate proceeds, 10 percent to the NSC and 30 percent to the presidency towards a suggested grassroots development project.

The game

In last year’s event, Asante Kotoko beat Heart of Lions 5-2 on penalties. That particular clash was characterized by a pre-game hype and trash talk that hasn’t been seen in Ghanaian football in a long long time. They handed the trophy over this year's potential winners (pictured)

A highly competitive clash is expected since two meetings between Hearts and XI Wise this season have both ended in draws.

Eleven Wise coach CK Akunnor would have won his first trophy in his fledgling coaching career if his team take the trophy. He told the Graphic Sports paper:

“Hearts is a big club and victory over them is always special. It will be a great thing to win the President’s Cup from them”

Hearts, too, after 5 consecutive games without a win in the league would be looking for a redemption of sorts as their coach Nii Noi Thompson told Ghanasoccernet.

“These are difficult times for me and the team but we are hoping to get the results to march on.

“We wasted too many chances yesterday and that caused us a lot. We can only appeal to the fans to have patient for us since we are still on top of the table.

“We know they are suffering but we are still on top and we will do more than our best in the remaining matches to consolidate our two point lead."

As they say, we got a game on our hands. Luck, everyone!