Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Ghana celebrate International Boxing Day

For the first time Ghana joined the international boxing community to celebrate International Boxing Day.. The day normally falls on May 13, the birthday of the late Joe Louis, the man described as the greatest champion in the history of boxing.

Instituted by the World Boxing Council (WBC), the day is celebrated throughout the boxing world as a time to honour all boxers, past and present, from the most humble fighters to Joe Louis, one of the greatest and to remember with gratitude what they have given the sports world.

In Ghana films shows of past and current world boxing champions, notably Mohammed Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler and Azumah Nelson marked the day.

In his goodwill message to the GBA, read on his behalf by Mr J. S. Wontumi, the Secretary for Youth and Sports, Mr Amarkai Amarteifio, urged the entire boxing fraternity in Ghana - boxers trainers, promoters, and fans - to pause and reflect on the sport and to think of ways of making it safer and better as planned by the World Boxing Council.

Mr Allotei-Cofie, chairman of the GBA debunked the notion held in some circles that boxing is a dangerous sport. He said the "Sport is only dangerous to those who are not skilful" and therefore called on youngmen who are interested in the sport to take it up.

Wise German coach blames referee

Team officials and players of Sekondi Eleven Wise have arrived home with a bagful of excuses for their WAFU cup quarter-final defeat in Ibadan. Their main grouse lies with the performance of match officials.

Club German coach Alfred Kalusa passed the buck squarely on to the shoulders of referee Green and his Sierra Leonean cohorts assisting from the lines. "The referee and his linesmen not only ruined our chances but also set us up for defeat. They were incredibly partial in their supervision of the game", he told pressmen at the Murtala Muhammed Airport shortly before the contingent departed for home aboard a Ghana Air force jet.

Mr Kulasa hinted that his country would lodge a formal protest over the defeat.

"Ten minutes into the game, it became clear there was no way Eleven Wise could win the match because the referee was absolutely biased.

"You may have the best team employing the best strategy, but if the match referee stands in your way, there's just nothing you can do", he explained. Mr Kalusa suggested engaging foreign referees for future WAFU Cup matches if only for fairness.

U-17 in pre-World Cup tour

Nigeria's Under-17 team accompanied by three coaches have left Lagos for a playing tour of the Northern States.

Coaches Sebastine Brodericks, Bala Shamaki and Christian Chukwu are at the head of a trip which is aimed to tuning the boys up for the Under-17 World Cup competition due in China next month.

Twenty of the 27 players who survived the last screening exercise made the trip which will take them to Kaduna, Jos and Kano amongst other places.

Shooting tests dominated the team's last training session in Lagos a few days after their 2-1 defeat of Lagos state second division African Petroleum in their only warm-up match at the St Gregory pitch,Obalende.

Vandalism at matches in Ghana

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has condemned recent acts of hooliganism and vandalism at football matches especially involving second division clubs.

The GFA in a statement said it is clear that most, if not all these acts, were pre-meditated.

It alleged that during Obuasi Adansiman - Goldfields match, more than 40 knives and daggers were seized from fans and supporters while a referee was brutally assaulted at Obuasi when Adansiman played King Faisal.

The GFA said reports reaching it have it that Mighty Sailors fans terrorised Hasspera supporters at Tafo recently and stone-throwing and wanton vandalism after the Susubiribi and Mighty Sailors league match at Tafo culminated in the smashing of the windscreen of vehicles including a bus belonging to the Government.

While condemning these acts in no uncertain terms the statement said the GFA was seriously reconsidering the suitability or otherwise of all league centres and would not hesitate to close down any centre found to be unsuitable.

Judas fights Mittee for Commonwealth title

Ghana's ABU welterweight champion, Judas Clottey, successfully defended his title when he knocked out his Zambian opponent, Chris Kamuzu in the fifth round of their rounder in Lusaka. But for the referee who had prolonged the count when Judas knocked Kamuzu out of the ring in the second round the fight would have been stopped earlier than the fifth round.

According to reports, Judas who showed tremendous improvement, was too strong for his opponent who was badly beaten.

Judas is now, in trim to meet Sylvester Mittee for the Commonwealth title. that effect are far Arrangements to advanced. Judas and Mittee have met twice, each winning once.

Shooting Stars maintain unbeaten record

IICC of Ibadan have kept intact their unbeaten home record in two seasons, coming from behind with two last-minute penalties to force league leaders, New Nigeria Bank of Benin to a 2-2 draw. The visitors, showing a tremendous confidence opened the scores in the 18th minute and then went ahead again in the 61st minute.

But IICC, gradually becoming penalty specialists, got the chance in the 82nd minute to reduce the deficit when skipper Felix Owolabi was brought down in the NNB box.

Samson Ozogula, a former Banker, made no mistake from the ensuing spot-kick. Two minutes later, Ozogula was again on target from the penalty spot to bring his total goal haul in the premier league to seven.

Eagle first win over Elephants

Green Eagles have recorded their first victory over the Elephants of Ivory Coast, beating them 2-1 in their second warm up encounter at the Kano Township Stadium.

It was the Green Eagles first win in five years over the Elephants who are expected to host Nigeria's national side in Abidjan and Bouake.

Their first encounter in Benin a week earlier ended goalless, a result that brought memories of the 1980 African Nations Cup clash in Lagos when both sides again had a scoreless result.

Armed robbers raid soccer team

Armed men held up the New Nigerian Bank first division soccer team and got away with 3000 Naira (3,000 dollars) in personal belongings, money and football kit. The Nigerian News Agency reported that the players were driving home to Benin City, 250km (150 miles) west of Lagos where they had beaten First Bank 2-0 when their bus stopped with a flat tyre.

"Our vehicle had just stopped for us to replace a punctured tyre when the robbers emerged from the bush," club organising secretary, Isaac Igbe said.

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