Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Azumah's bout to be telecast live

British Promoter Frank Warren has secured lucrative American television coverage of Pat Cowdell's challenge against Azumah Nelson, soothing fears over recent riots in a section of Birmingham where the fight will be staged.

Cowdell's October 12 challenge to the World Boxing Council Champion from Ghana will now be shown live across the US.

"There was genuine concern among some people at the American television station NBC about what happened in Handsworth" (a district of Birmingham), Warren said on his return to London from New York.

There will be a drinks ban at the fight, and Warren promised that anyone trying to smuggle alcohol into the arena would be thrown out. Cowdell who lost a split decision to Mexican Salvador Sanchez in Houston in his previous title bid nearly four years ago, saw Nelson knock out Chile's Juvenal Ordenes in five rounds in Miami on September 7.

"Pat believes his style will pull him through. But he has a tough job. Nelson is a good champion," Warren said.

Advance ticket sales have reached 4,000 but Warren said he and British television companies were "miles apart" over a deal for coverage.

Hearts want coach Eshun

Players and supporters of Accra Hearts of Oak have asked the management of the club to request the release of the National Sports Council coach John Eshun to assist in rebuilding the club for their domestic and African clubs championship campaign next season.

At a meeting of the club at Hearts' training ground in Accra both players and supporters identified lack of proper technical direction as the main problem plaguing Hearts.

They point to Hearts' sudden push at the tail end of the 1985 Ghana season when coach Eshun was directing affairs as an example of how valuable he could be in their quest for continental honours next season.

Chief's views on sports

A traditional ruler has identified sports as major revenue earner and urged Nigerian youths to take advantage of the available facilities to develop their sporting talents.

Opening a ten-day sports clinic organised by the Benue State Council for games will take place. masters and athletic coaches, Alhaji Aliyu Obeje, Atta of Igala said sports had made many sportsmen and women millionaires all over the world.

He commended the states sports council for their efforts at ensuring that the state was represented at the forthcoming national sports festival. The Head of coaching and training of the state sports council, Mr Joe Bulya told the participants that the clinic was one of the council's strategies to ensure the effective representation of the state at the national sports festival.

Nigeria want Ivorian matches on neutral grounds

The Nigerian Football Association has asked the West African Football Union and the African Football Confederation to fix all matches involving Nigerian and Ivorian teams on neutral grounds until the attitude of Ivorian soccer fans towards teams from other countries improved.

Consequently, the NFA had demanded that Sunday's WAFU final-leg match involving New Nigeria Bank and Africa Sports fixed for the Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, be honoured on a neutral ground.

According to the National Concord the NFA cited violence against IICC Shooting Stars in their match with Africa Sports in Ivory Coast and the Black Stars-Elephants African Cup elimination, to buttress their claim that the Ivorian soil is not conducive to healthy soccer rivalry.

"Nigeria cannot afford to lose lives of its citizens because of friendship and unity for which we campaign through sports," the NFA said in a message to the WAFU headquarters in Abidjan.

The message said the NFA was still re- viewing its membership of the WAFU and that the reviewing would continue until the union responded to its latest request and cleared the air on other pressing issues.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Nigerians in the Ivory Coast were not in favour of the match taking place in Abidjan for fear that they might once more be targets of violence.

CAF's deal on African Cup

The African Football Confederation has a signed a contract with ISL Marketing Agency of Switzerland granting the Swiss firm the exclusive rights of publicity in the Stadia of Cairo and Alexandria where the matches of the 15th African Cup of Nations

In the same vein, the CAF has granted the Egyptian Television the sole right for TV transmission of the matches.

The amount involved in both contracts has not been revealed.

Asec captain signs for French club

Kassy Kouadio Lucien, Captain of Asec football club and a member of the Ivorian national team the Elephants, has signed for A.S. Cannes, a first division club in France.

Lucien, who was a member of the Elephants that whipped the Black Stars of Ghana to qualify for next year's Africa Cup finals in Cairo, has already left for Paris.

NNB are Nigerian Champions

New Nigeria Bank, through to the finals of the 1985 West African Football Union Championship, will represent Nigeria in the 1986 African Clubs Championship.

They won this year's Nigerian national first division league. Enugu Rangers, who won the competition last year, were the runners-up. Shooting Stars and Water Corporation followed in that order.

Ex-Green Eagles captain thrilling Ivorian fans

Stephen Keshie, one-time captain of the Nigerian national team the Green Eagles, is the new sensation in Ivorian football. Keshie, who plays for the Asec club of Abidjan, has rejuvenated the flagging spirit of the former Ivorian champions where he features as an attacking full back. Since joining the Ivorian club, he has scored six goals and has helped the Abidjan club not to concede defeat.

New season for Ghana Soccer

The Ghana football season will be changed from January-November to October-July with effect from the 1985-86 season.

A Ghana Football Association statement explained that the change of season would curtail the situation where matches had to be postponed during the rainy season of June and July.

The statement said the new season would enable teams that qualify for continental assignments to strengthen their squads before venturing into Africa and other inter- national engagements.

Observers, however, believe the new season might not be in the interest of Ghana soccer. They point to African Football Confederation and West African Football Union engagements which would be at crucial stages at the end of the Ghana soccer season and maintain that no team could afford to recruit or dispense with the services of players when their international obligations were getting to the crucial stage

talking drums 1985-09-23 ghana yesterday's men and tomorrow's youth paa willie j.h. mensah deGraft-Johnson