Sports News of Thursday, 16 August 2012
Accra, Aug. 16, GNA – Egyptian giants, Al-Ahly have lived by their words and refused the hotel and training grounds offered them by Ghanaian side, Berekum Chelsea during their stay in the country for this weekend’s CAF Champions League.
A 36-member contingent made up of players, officials and journalists arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on Thursday afternoon for the Group B encounter billed for Sunday at the Accra Sports Stadium, but the contingent flatly turned down the hotel offered by their hosts.
Berekum Chelsea had booked Lincoln Hotel, a three-star facility located at New Achimota, but their guests have described it as ‘sub-standard’, but rather opting for Oak Plaza Hotel, off the Spintex Road and about 15-minutes drive from the airport.
The Egyptians insistence on Oak Plaza Hotel is based on the fact that their arch-rivals, Zamalek lodged at the same place last month for their game against the 2010/2011 League champions.
Upon the team’s arrival, a bus was made available to convey the delegation to Lincoln Hotel; instead they directed the driver to head towards their preferred choice.
“We don’t know why they don’t want us to stay in Oak Plaza Hotel. If Zamalek stayed there, why can’t Ahly,” quizzed Wael El Sisi, Diplomatic Attaché of the Egyptian Embassy.
Nana Oduro Sarfo, Accra Representative of Berekum Chelsea, however, told GNA Sports that Lincoln Hotel meets CAF standard on accommodation for visiting teams.
“We have met the requirements of CAF in line with the regulations of the competition,” he noted.
The Berekum Club official added that the Match Commissioner, who is expected to arrive on Friday, (August 17) will have the final say.
“We are waiting for the Match Commissioner to arrive to know our next line of action,” added Oduro Sarfo.
Meanwhile, the Egyptians have also opted for the Marcel Desaiily’s Lizzy Sports Complex for their training sessions against the Legon Presec Park acquired by their hosts.
It will be recalled that Zamalek also protested against the use of the Legon Presec Park, incidentally one of the training pitches used for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, due to proximity.
Ahly’s last visit to Ghana was in 2006 where they drew barren with Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi, also at the group stage of the CAF Champions League.