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Lamine justifies picking Asante Kotoko over all GPL clubs

The board member believes the Porcupine Warriors’ supreme status cannot be questioned 

Asante Kotoko board member Alhaji Abu Lamine has made an audacious claim, saying the Porcupine Warriors are key to the survival of all clubs in the Ghana Premier League (GPL).

With 23 titles, the Kumasi-based outfit is the most successful team in the history of the domestic league.

In addition, they are considered to boast the biggest fanbase, a status reflected in the African Sports Centre for Data, Research and Technology’s 2019 Ghana Premier League Report where the club garnered 41 per cent of survey participants’ allegiance ahead of the 2019-20 league season.

“At club level, Kotoko is what [the team] everyone knows. Some [other clubs] have done well but not to Kotoko’s level,” Lamine told Asempa FM.

“If you want to get the truth in this, go to the GFA and check their source of match revenue from various stadia. All the 16 to 18 Premier League clubs, even if a club owes, they project a Kotoko game [gate proceeds] to raise revenue to pay off the debt.

“We don’t need to politicise this, go to GFA and check attendance from all the stadia. Even Accra Hearts of Oak know they can only raise more money after playing us… they know, they are just loud.

“Kotoko is bigger in terms of revenue generated and following. Kotoko is worshipped.”

In July, King Faisal president Alhaji Karim Grunsah revealed his club plans its financial strategy around fixtures with Kotoko and Hearts of Oak, who rival the Porcupine Warriors over Ghana’s biggest club status.

Lamine’s comments follow a similar declaration by new Kotoko chief executive officer (CEO) Nana Yaw Amponsah, who rated the club bigger than Ghana’s two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the  National Democratic Congress (NDC) at his unveiling last month.

Among their new ambitions, two-time African champions Kotoko are eyeing a first continental title since 1983. To achieve their goal, they have an imminent decision to make about whether they will be participating in the Caf Champions League next season or not, in the wake of the coronavirus disruptions.

“We have not really set a target for him [Amponsah]. We have given him a mandate for three years, but if he gets to the ground, he will come back to us,” Lamine said about Amponsah.

“If he comes, he will update us on what he will need, that is when we will analyse whether we should go to Africa or not.

“He has met the coach, he will do an assessment of the playing body and the quality available [then decide] those who should go and those who should stay.

“So he will need not less than two weeks to put all those pieces together. So I believe that we should give him two to three weeks, he will get to the board and provide the real state of affairs of the club, then we’ll take it from there.”

Kotoko have also clinched the Ghana FA Cup on nine occasions, just one win below rivals Hearts.

On social media, the Porcupine Warriors have the highest following on various platforms combined among all Ghanaian clubs.

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