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SPORTS: 2022/23 GPL season: Five things we learned from opening weekend




The new Ghana Premier League season kicked off on Saturday, with Great Olympics taking the first three points, and matches continued on Sunday, with title contenders Hearts of Oak losing to Aduana Stars.

Medeama, Karela United, Kotoku Royals, and Dreams FC all started well.

However, defending champions Asante Kotoko were not in action because they face RC Kadiogo of Burkina Faso in the first leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round on Monday in Cotonou.

Here are five things we learned from the Premier League’s first weekend:

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Aduana Stars beat Hearts of Oak 1-0 after captain Bright Adjei scored four minutes after halftime. It was Aduana’s seventh home victory over the Phobians in Dormaa, emphasizing the club’s dominance over the Hearts in the Bono region.

With the win on Sunday, Aduana has not lost in seven home games against Hearts, with Hearts last winning in Dormaa in 2014. Aduana has kept six clean sheets and scored eight goals.

Paa Kwesi Fabin’s team looked very motivated and played at a high level on Sunday, and they will look to replicate this performance in their next games. Aduana’s target this season is to finish in the top four, after finishing 11th last season.


Hearts of Oak have failed to win their first league match for the third season in a row after losing to Aduana Stars on Sunday.

READ ALSO: Nominations for GFA elections open Monday
Two seasons ago, an outbreak of Covid in the Hearts camp forced them to start the season from matchday 2 and they drew 2-2 with AshantiGold in Accra. Last season, they were also held by Legon Cities to a goalless draw at home.

The Phobians traveled to Dormaa with hopes of starting the season on a high note but lost.

They were able to recover from a poor start to become champions in the 2020/21 season after Samuel Boadu took over midway through the season, but that wasn’t the case last season, as they finished sixth.

Their performance against Aduana was reminiscent of last season, and Samuel Boadu must address his side’s profligacy in front of goal. They had many good chances against Aduana but blew them. Last season, their wastefulness cost them dearly, and it could cost them again this season.


Great Olympics lost head coach Annor Walker, who refused to sign a new contract to take up a similar role at Samartex FC before the start of the season.

It was predicted that the departure of Walker, who led the Olympics to a top-six finish in the previous two seasons, would hurt the club, but so far, the club appears to be enjoying life under Yaw Preko.

Olympics won the GHALCA G6 competition under the guidance of the former Ghana international, and they followed that up with a winning start in league play on Saturday. Olympic defeated Bechem United 1-0 in the 82nd minute, with Samuel Abbey-Ashie Quaye scoring the only goal.

READ ALSO: Hearts of Oak to partner Hoffenheim and FC Cincinnati
Preko is no stranger to the Olympics, having previously served as an interim manager. This time, he’s signed a two-year contract and appears to be fully prepared to help the club succeed.

Olympics retained the majority of their players from last season and added experienced midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu to strengthen the side. The former Ghana international started on Saturday and looked sharp.

Great Olympics can finish in the top four this term.


Kotoku Royals secured three points against Accra Lions on their Ghana Premier League debut. Forward Augustine Boakye scored the club’s first top-flight goal in the 19th minute and held on to ensure a winning start.


They were the only newly promoted team to win on the league’s first weekend and will look to build on that going forward.

But it was a bittersweet moment as they couldn’t celebrate their victory in Oda.

The game was played in Cape Coast because the Ghana FA Club Licensing Board (CLB) rejected Kotoku Royals’ proposed Oda Stadium.

For the time being, the Cape Coast Stadium serves as their temporary home venue while they work to bring their favorite stadium up to CLB standard.


The new season got off to a feisty start, with three red cards issued in the seven games played between Saturday and Sunday. One venue saw two, while the other was recorded in the top linear of matchday 1.

Two players were sent off in the game between Medeama and Legon Cities, which the Tarkwa-based club won by a single goal. Legon Cities duo Michael Ampadu and Michel Otto were both sent off in the second half for dissent.

READ ALSO: Fabio Gama declared fit ahead of Ashanti derby
Hearts of Oak defender Caleb Amankwah was sent off in their defeat to Aduana Stars in Dormaa. Amankwah was involved in an off-the-ball clash with Gabriel Mensah in the closing stages. Both received yellow cards, but it was Caleb’s second booking of the day and it resulted in a red card.

Surprisingly, this weekend’s red card total is one less than last season’s opening weekend total of four. Last season’s first matchday saw up to four players sent off, with one game (Bechem United 4-0) seeing three red cards.


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Football | National:  Baba Rahman blamed for Black Stars defeat




Baba Rahman is waste! I’ve never liked his style of play. He “singlehandedly” cost us 2 goals. No surprises Chelsea have had him on a loaning ping-pong.

With better options, I wonder why he gets to play.

Maybe, as Otto Addo said concerning Joseph Paintsil, not only he does these selections – so we did our usual biased things – and there we have the result!

Our loss of concentration is a major problem.

Sloppy losses of the ball in critical areas is another major concern.

Our midfield is shambolic. If we don’t plug those holes, the South Koreans, for example, who play very fast football, could cut us to shreds!

Partey was MIA. I guess we should start letting such players warm the bench and let those who actually show gall and turn up in big matches play.

Maybe that will make a difference and make these “big players” realise you can be big at Arsenal – but if you aren’t “big” in our “big matches,” you’re small and fungible!

Dede showed up. That proves why we need his experience and aggression – even if he’s now a bit of an old man – football-speaking.

Otto Addo’s changes, I feel, were a little ill-timed.

The Portuguese wasted no time unsettling us right after that.

Otto has a lot of work to do in that respect. Unfortunately for us, the World Cup is not the stage for trial and error.

The positives? We’ve scored Africa’s first 2 goals at the tournament; we didn’t suffer a whitewashing – even while facing the world’s 9th best team; and we saved face for Africa.

Would that Iñaki had netted that last-minute steal to cap it all off! That would have been a real sucker punch! We would have stolen Portugal’s thunder!

Alas! Wishes aren’t horses and beggars don’t ride! In the end, though, let’s face it: Portugal was the better side.

Our lack of proper preparation, an incisive mindset and poor decisions on the pitch (both coaching staff and players) were our undoing.

Let’s work for better against Uruguay and South Korea.

God bless Ghana!

Source: Myjoyonline


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Football | National: CAF Women’s Champions League: Ghana’s Philomena Abakah chases excellence with Simba Queens




The second edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League is set to begin on Sunday, October 30, with Morocco hosting it once again.

Unlike the maiden edition where Hasaacas Ladies made Ghana proud by making the final of the competition, the nation will now hope for joy from two players – Philomena Abakah and Blessing Shine, who was there with the Hasmal Ladies last year.

For Philomena, the tournament will serve as the first test for her and Simba Queens as this will be their first appearance.

She joined the Tanzania-based club prior to the start of the 2022/23 season from Malta Guinness Women’s Premier League side, Berry Ladies.

Ahead of the start of the Women’s Champions League, the forward has been speaking to JoySports’ Lawrence Baidoo.

Q: How are you settling into life in Tanzania?

Philomena: Initially, when I came here, I was not okay, it was a bit challenging, food and language and being in a different setting [which] is normal when you go to a new club outside your country. But as time goes on, I’ve got to understand things here and settled well.

CAF Women’s Champions League: Ghana’s Philomena Abakah chases excellence with Simba Queens
Philomena Abakah (left)
Q: How helpful has Augustine Okrah been to you since your arrival?

Philomena: He has been a very good friend to me [since I got here], both Augustine and Morrison. The first day we met was at the training grounds and he had always wanted to talk to me. We have been talking almost every time, he watches my game when he’s available and he guides me as well as to what to do. He has been so good and kind to me, I hardly call him but he’s always checking up on me.

Q: What are your targets for the CAF Women’s Champions League?

Philomena: I want to go there and do my best with the team and go as far as we can because everyone will be watching our performance, me in particular, most Ghanaians will be interested. The focus is to excel and progress in my career ambition and get the Simba family happy, they’re very supportive and I hope not to let them down

CAF Women’s Champions League: Ghana’s Philomena Abakah chases excellence with Simba Queens
Q: Do you have the confidence to do what Evelyn Badu exhibited last year?

Philomena: Evelyn Badu is Evelyn Badu, I am Philomena Abakah, I’m not under any pressure to do what she did, as much as I want to do better which am sure and believe I can, her achievement is not what I look up to, I am more interested in what my team can achieve together, I can’t be what she did if Simba doesn’t go far in the tournament. The focus is the club, not individual accolades. If I get it, glory to God but there’s no pressure or competition to do what she did.

CAF Women’s Champions League: Ghana’s Philomena Abakah chases excellence with Simba Queens
Evelyn Badu receiving the Player of the Tournament award
Q: Is the club under pressure to perform?

Philomena: We are not under any pressure. The drip we came to Morocco with should tell you we are okay. Everyone in the team is confident [that we can succeed]. We are not only here as representatives from East Africa, we are here to compete as well to fight for the crest and give our utmost best in this tournament.

CAF Women’s Champions League: Ghana’s Philomena Abakah chases excellence with Simba Queens
Simba Queens train ahead of the start of the competition
Q: Does Hasaacas not getting any reward from last year demotivate you?

Philomena: No. Personally, I’m not demotivated. We know the level of Women’s football in our world. It’s getting the deserved attention now, so every opportunity should be taken. Hopefully, it gets better — we played qualifiers not knowing what the reward will be.

CAF Women’s Champions League: Ghana’s Philomena Abakah chases excellence with Simba Queens
There’s a lot of difference between the football operation in Ghana and Tanzania. In Ghana, there is little or no support but the story is different here. Because of how passionate they are, fans here are even able to fund a club when they are embarking on a trip, that alone is motivating enough to fight for the club.


Source: Myjoyonline


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Football | National: Court adjourns Ashantigold vs GFA ca




An Accra High Court has set Thursday, October 20, to hear a leave application from Ashantigold to file a supplementary affidavit in their case against the Ghana Premier League (GPL).

Lawyers of Ashantigod on Thursday, October 13, filed a supplementary affidavit to their interlocutory injunction application on the league.

In their appearance in court, Ghana Football Association lawyers argued that the lawyers of Ashantigold did not follow due process in filing the supplementary affidavit and prayed the court to dismiss it.

Ashantigold lawyers then countered and argued that the GFA’s objection to the filing of the supplementary affidavit was irregular.

The judge, Barbara Tetteh-Charwey, struck out Ashantigold’s supplementary affidavit and then determined that both parties erred, and granted the Miners Monday, October 17, to apply for leave to file the supplementary affidavit.

She then set Thursday, October 20, to hear Ashantigold’s application to file the supplementary affidavit.

This means Thursday is for the court to determine whether or not it will grant Ashantigold’s request to file a supplementary affidavit.

The date for the actual hearing of the injunction application could then be set after that.

Friday’s decision means the league remains suspended.

On September 29, the Ghana Football Association suspended the league following an injunction application brought against them by Division II club Ashantigold SC.

Ashantigold went to court following their demotion to Ghana’s 3rd tier competition after the club and its officials were found guilty of match manipulation at the end of the 2020/21 season.

The Miners are contesting the GFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision to demote the club and hand various bans to its officials, a fate suffered by Inter Allies, the other club involved in the said game.

Last month, the GFA subsequently banned the club indefinitely for “continuously dealing with its banned officials”.

Club President, Kwaku Frimpong, and his son Emmanuel Frimpong, who is also the CEO of the club, were handed 10 and 8-year bans respectively from all football-related activities for their involvement in the match-fixing scandal that rocked Ghana football last year.

They filed appeals at the GFA Appeals Committee for and on behalf of the club, which were dismissed, forcing them to resort to the civil court.

In the last game of the 2020/2021 season, Ashantigold beat Inter Allies 7-0 in a game Hashmin Musah scored two deliberate own goals. He later claimed in an interview that his action was necessitated by a tip he received that the game had been fixed.

This prompted a widespread investigation which resulted in bans of over 30 players and officials from the two clubs.

Source: Myjoyonline

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