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Soccer News of Thursday, 1 April 2004

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Kotoko seek change

Ghana's Asante Kotoko have asked Caf to move the away leg of their 11 April Champions League tie against Asec Abidjan to a neutral venue.

The Ghanaian champions claim the security situation in the Ivorian capital Abidjan is not condusive.

Ghana Football Association (GFA) general secretary Kofi Nsiah confirmed that Kotoko have made the request - through the GFA - to Caf.

Nsiah said the continent's governing body is yet to respond.

There has been rising tension in Abidjan, following clashes between government forces and opposition supporters.

Kotoko's chief executive Yaw Larson defended the request on the grounds that "no one can predict what might happen on the day of the match."

Kotoko, two-time African champions, are making a return to Africa's premier club competition after a ten-year absence.

They were given a bye in the preliminary round after Tempte Mocaf from the Central African Republic withdrew, to set up a date with 1998 African Champions Asec Abidjan.

The two clubs have one of the fiercest rivalries in West Africa but have not met in an African club competition since Kotoko beat Asec in the semi-finals in 1993.