Asante Kotoko Sporting Club, also known as Asante Kotoko, is a professional football club from Kumasi, Ashanti Region in Ghana West Africa. Their home grounds is based at Baba Yara Stadium in Amakom, Kumasi. They compete in the Ghanaian Premier League. They have been champions of the Ghana Premier League a record 24 times, have won the CAF Champions League twice and were adjudged the African club of the century by International Football Federation of History and Statistics. They are also called the Porcupine Warriors.
The International Federation of Football History and Statistics ranked Asante Kotoko the African club of the 20th century.
Renowned Online Portal, Ghana News Page looks out for some revealing facts about Kumasi based club – Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
- The foundation of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Sporting Club was laid by 13 young Ashanti men led by a young driver, Mr. Kwasi Kumah, ably supported by L.Y. Asamoah an electrician. Mr. Kwasi Kumah, a native of Nyankyerenease near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, was a chauffeur to an English man and military officer, a Colonel Ross.
- The club started as Kumasi Rainbow then to Ashanti United Football Club in 1926. In 1931, the name changed to Kumasi Titanics and in 1934, they adopted the name, Mighty Atoms and finally, in 1935, Mr J.S.K. Frimpong, who was a teacher proposed the name Asante Kotoko ‘Football’ Club with permission from the then Asantehene, Nana Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II because of the name ‘Kotoko,’ meaning “Porcupine” which is the symbol of the Ashanti Kingdom.
- Nana Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, became the first-ever patron of the club in 1935 after it has been formally founded.
- The colours of Asante Kotoko depict the colours on both the national flag (ethnic flag) and national emblem of Ashanti with the colours of red, yellow and green used on the Asante Kotoko first (home) kit shirts and shorts while the colours white and red are used on the second alternative kit shirts and shorts; and in 2011, Asante Kotoko re-introduced third alternative kit of black, yellow and green colours worn in the late 1980s.
- Asante Kotoko’s emblem symbolizes the national emblem of the Kingdom of Ashanti (Kingdom of Asante) and Ashanti with the colours black, green and yellow enclosing the colours on the national flag and ethnic flag of the Kingdom of Asante and Asante Kotoko’s emblem [also represents the national emblem of the Ashanti people and the Ashanti nation (who are more like the Catalan people and Catalonia); the Asante Kotoko emblem features a remarkably threatening-looking hedgehog and the motto “Ashanti Twi: Kum apem a, apem beba”, which means “Kill a thousand, and a thousand more will come”.
- Asante Kotoko won its maiden Ghana premier league trophy in 1959 after Hearts of Oak had won it the previous year when the national football league was introduced in 1958 and has gone on to win it 24 times, better than any other club in Ghana and is the first club to win the FA Cup title in 1958 after beating Hearts of Oak 4-2 in the final.
- Asante Kotoko were the second Ghanaian club to participate in the African Cup of Champions Clubs, now Champions League in 1966 and reached the quarter-final after Real Republicans in 1965 and the first Ghanaian club to reach the final of the competition in 1967 and lost the title to TP Englebert, now TP Mazembe without losing a single game until the final game.
- In 1970, Asante Kotoko became the first Ghanaian club to win a continental trophy during the 6th edition of the CAF Champions League, then African Cup of Champions Clubs after beating TP Englebert 1-2 in Kinshasa. Abukari Gariba and Malik Jabir scored the goals for Kotoko. And won their second during the 19th edition in 1983 after beating Al Ahly 1-0 courtesy Opoku Nti’s 22nd-minute strike before Hearts of Oak did it 2000.
- Asante Kotoko were the first to represent Ghana in the African Cup Winners Cup in 1976.
- Domestic records by Asante Kotoko.National Titles Ghana Premier League: 23 Titles 1959, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988-89, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 2003, 2005, 2007-08,FA Cup: 8 trophies 1958, 1959, 1960, 1978, 1984, 1997-98, 2001, 2014 2012, 2013 Ghana Super Cup: 2 trophiesGhana SWAG Cup: 12 Titles 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008Ghana Telecom Gala: 3 times Champions 1999-00, 2001, 2005
GHALCA Top Four/Top Four Cup: 3 2003, 2007 and 2016
Ghana Annual Republic Day Cup: 3 2004, 2005, 2008
- Asante Kotoko became the first and the only Ghanaian club to produce African Footballer award winners in 1971 (Ibrahim Sunday) after captaining Kotoko in the final to win its first African Cup of Champions Clubs, now Champions League trophy and Abdul Karim Razak in 1978 after helping Ghana win the Cup of Nations that year.
- Osei Kofi was the substantive captain of Asante Kotoko during the 1970 African Cup of Champions Clubs competition but got injured during the semi-final game against Ismaily and was replaced by Ibrahim Sunday who was then the vice-captain. Papa Arko is the second and the last captain to win the trophy in 1983.
- In 1951, Asante Kotoko became the first Ghanaian club to play in football boots after it was bought by then patron, Mr Degraft Dickson from Britain. The first Asante Kotoko player to wear football boot was James Adjei during a training tour with the Black Stars in Britain in 1951.
- Hearts of Oak emulated and, prior to a friendly game against Asante Kotoko in 1954, the Phobians followed suit and also wore football boots. However, Kotoko took a three-goal lead in that game, because the Hearts of Oak players felt uncomfortable playing in boots for the very first time. In the second half, the Phobians took off their football boots and played with their barefoot. The scoreline remained the same, 3-0.
- Asante Kotoko, aside being the first Ghanaian club to wear football boots, they were also the first club to undertake a training tour abroad in 1969. The reason why the Porcupines missed the opportunity of playing against Pele’s Santos in Accra was that when the Brazilian club arrived in Ghana around the same period, Kotoko were in Great Britain playing against Stoke City that contained the likes of legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks and other English superstars.
- Asante Kotoko mauled Brazilian club Flamengo 4-0 in Kumasi after drawing goalless with Real Republicans in Accra. Osei Kofi scored all the four goals for Kotoko in 1968.
- Asante Kotoko’s heaviest win in CAF Champions League game was 7-0 which came in 2013 at the Baba Yara Stadium against Equatorial Guinean side Sony Ela Nguema.
- B.K Edusei was the first chairman of Asante Kotoko to lift the Champions League trophy in 1970, then African Cup of Champions Clubs before Yaw Bawuah won it in 1983.
- On January 19, 1963, Asante Kotoko became the first Ghanaian club to appoint a foreign coach and first club to employ a full-time coach in the shape of József Ember who had been sacked as Black Stars coach with a two-year contract and won the 1963/64 league title without losing a match in the first round (W16 D1 L0).
- Asante Kotoko is the eight club with the most appearances in the CAF Champions League final (1967, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1982, 1983, and 1993) and won it twice (1970, 1983).
- On February 1, 2010, Asante Kotoko were crowned Africa’s club of the century by the International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS) in London, Fulham.
- Mathew Anim Cudjoe is the youngest ever player to play for Asante Kotoko, age 16.