Monday, September 28, 2009

Kotoko, best club in Africa in the last century?? Where's Ahly?

With a haul of 149.0 points, Kotoko have been voted Africa's Club of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

Farcical? Well...let's take a look at one or two facts.


“The IFFHS decided to determine the African club of the century (1901-2000) and the continental ranking of the century by using the individual match results of the later rounds of the continental club competitions as played by the respective clubs”.

The competition that qualified for points in the ranking are: the African Champions Cup now African Champions League with the following point awards - 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 0 points for a defeat.

There's also the CAF Cup (2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a defeat). The Cup Winners Cup and the Confederations Cup were also used (3 points for a win, 1.5 points for a draw, 0 points for a defeat). Plus the African Super Cup (3.5 points for a win, 1.75 points for a draw, 0 points for a defeat).

Based on these, the top position went to Kotoko because they have won more continental matches in the last century than any other club on the African continent. I must also say that the ranking did not factor in the national leagues of African countries because they are “merely a prerequisite to qualification for the continental club competitions”


But based on the past decade or so, we have to say that Al Ahly are the dominant side in Africa, any day. Al-Ahly was the first club to reach the FIFA Club World Cup two times following two consecutive appearances in 2005 and 2006, winning the Bronze Medal in the latter. They are also Winners of six Caf Champions Leagues (1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008). And many many more.

Ahly would be the best in recent times but as the German-based IFFHS have given us the criteria, we should be ok with that.

No restin' on laurels

Even with this accolade, Kotoko of the current would not take any solace from it. They are in some murky shite, I tell you. They were unable to win the Glo Premier league, the SWAG Cup, the President's Cup nor the MTN Top 4. Simply put, the fans are livid and want to draw blood.

Hence, the Reds are in the hunt for a new coach and we are told that they want Heart of Lions' Paa Kwasi Fabian.

For all the gloss of the IFFHS award, the management member in-charge of Operations, Ben Nti, sees the ranking as a morale-booster for a team does has little going for it.

“It [the award] brings good feeling and a sense of on-field achievements for the club, however, instead of celebrating the ranking to the hilt, I will recommend that we all do introspection as a family to see how this success was achieved and see it as a challenge on us.

“To me, though Kotoko played active continental matches in the 1990s to the 2000s, most of the achievements were done by the stars of the 1960s up to the late 1980s.

It therefore behoves on the present generation to do well on the continent so that in say a century from today, they would be remembered with nostalgia and fondness”.

Enough said.