Former Black Stars and Accra Hearts of Oak goalkeeper, Ali Jarah says the rivalry between Ghana’s two biggest clubs, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko is extraordinary.
The ex-Phobian goalie described his first experience as a 17-year-old substitute in Ghana’s biggest football rivalry in 1992 as intimidating.
Prior to the encounter with Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Ali Jarah recounts his side was accused of theft in Angola, saying there were rumours that Hearts of Oak had gone to the Portuguese-speaking country to steal towels and bed sheets.
This according to him contributed to an atmosphere he had never seen before.
I think the first time I was on the bench and Salifu Ansah was the first choice goalkeeper, and that was in the 1991/1992 season and as at that time we had gone to Angola and we were accused of stealing bed sheets and towels.
So after that, we came to Accra and right after that we played against Asante Kotoko. So imagine the whole atmosphere. And in fact, that was the first time I was seeing a large crowd.
In the course of the game, I was asking myself if I were in the shoes of Salifu Ansah, will I be able to perform at a top-level because I had never seen such a crowd before in my entire life.
And we all know how Hearts vs Kotoko games are, especially in Kumasi and with the whole Angola saga so you can imagine. The whole stadium was painted in red bedsheets and towels.
So you can just imagine.