‘HEARTS, KOTOKO MATCH WILL BE BUTUBUTU’.
Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah presenting the trophy to Vice President Bawumia
Vice President Bawumia foresees a cracker of a match when Accra Hearts of Oak comes face-to-face with their all-time soccer rivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko come Sunday, July 2 at the Baba Yara Sports stadium in Kumasi to battle it out for the famous ‘President’s Cup’.
He made the observation when management of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) led by its Chairman, Cudjoe Fianoo presented the President’s Cup to him at the presidency yesterday.
The competition is captured among the statutes of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), coming after the Premier League, the FA Cup.
It would be the first time the President’s Cup match is being played outside Accra and specifically in Kumasi.
Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah believes soccer fans in Kumasi would therefore be anxious to see either the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo or his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia if either of them should grace the occasion.
The purpose of the President’s Cup is not just to unify the nation through soccer but also intended to honour the President of the day.
The first was played in honour of then President Kufuor in 2003 and has since been running for the past 14 years.
It is normally played on Republic Day, July 1 which would have been coming Saturday; but had to be rescheduled to Sunday, July 2 because of the President’s tight schedule.
Dr Bawumia has already pledged his commitment to be at the stadium on that day to observe proceedings for himself.
On behalf of President Akufo-Addo, he lauded GHALCA for their ability to keep the President’s Cup running all these years.
For him, that was a mark of dedication and discipline since it has become a firm part of the GFA.
“The President is the embodiment of the nation, so when we honour the President, it’s not really honouring an individual, but we are honouring a nation…and I think this Cup should be seen in that light”, he said.
He thanked the sponsors and all who are connected with organizing the event.
Having chosen the two football clubs that epitomizes Ghana’s local league, Hearts and Kotoko, the Vice President could not but said “it will be ‘butubutu’ as they say in Kumasi on Sunday.”
The Vice President thus urged Ghanaians to give it the fullest support and attend in their numbers, with an assurance in tow “by the grace of God we will be there in Kumasi on Sunday.”
GHALCA Chairman, Cudjoe Fianoo indicated that each of the two teams would receive an appearance fee of GH¢50,000 with the eventual winner, be it Hearts or Kotoko to take home an additional GH¢10,000.
That would be in addition to the trophy and the medals at stake.
On Friday, they would be paying a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on whose soil the match would be played.
Present at the presentation was the Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North.
Managing Director for United Bank for Africa (UBA), headline sponsors of the match, Abiola Barwuah said their decision to sponsor the event was because the bank is not just only 12 years in Ghana as the President’s Cup has existed but also for the fact that the UBA turned 60 years this year as the country Ghana and therefore shared in the glory of Ghana’s nationhood.
She thus pledged “as far as I remain the MD of this Bank, we will continue to support you.”
BY CHARLES TAKYI-BOADU, PRESIDENTIAL CORRESPONDENT.
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