Kotoko-Kadiogo Champions League tie now moved to Porto-Novo

Preliminary first round games of the 2022-23 Total Energies CAF Champions League season roar off this weekend, but it would be without Ghana’s representatives – Asante Kotoko.

The Asanteman Warriors have had to endure a frustrating week as their tricky away engagement against Burkina Faso’s Rail Club de Kadiogo (RCK) today at the Stade de Yamoussoukro, has been rescheduled to Monday – but not in that country.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has now moved the game to the capital Porto-Novo, specifically at the Mathieu Kérékou Sports Stadium in the Republic of Benin.

Originally, Kotoko were expected to make the trip to Burkina Faso whose stadium for the game was declared ‘unfit’ by CAF to host the fixture.

Hours later, it emerged that Stade de Yamoussoukro in Cote d’Ivoire was ready to stage the tie only to be told yesterday by the Ivorian Football Association that Kadiogo could not use the venue because the facility was under maintenance.

Consequently, officials of Kadiogo wrote to CAF requesting to play their game in Benin – which has been reportedly granted.

According to reports, Kotoko have braced themselves for the challenge as they hope to take off on in flying fashion – and eventually make it to the group stage of the campaign.

The last time Kotoko played in the group stage of the CAF Champions League was in 2006 – under Coach Bashir Hayford.

Meanwhile, Ivorian Referee Patrick Tanguy Jean Philippe Vlei has been appointed to handle affairs and would be assisted on the lines by compatriots Koabenan Prosper Adiouman and Kalidou Bamba with Frederic Francois Biro as the fourth official.

The return fixture is slated for the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday, September 18.

BY JOHN VIGAH

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