Sumaila: Former Asante Kotoko defender assesses Hearts of Oak's Ghana Premier League triumph

Ghana and former Asante Kotoko centre-back Rashid Sumaila has described Hearts of Oak as worthy winners of the Premier League.

Last month, the Phobians beat arch-rivals Kotoko to the championship title, sealing the triumph with a match to spare.

It was their first GPL success since 2009.

“Hearts of Oak deserves to win this year’s league because they fought a good fight. Although Kotoko did well but I believe Hearts were on top, so they deserved it,” Sumaila told Bryt FM.

“At some point in time, both teams were tied on points and that revived the competitiveness of the league. At the end of the season, the points gap ws not so huge and it tells you how exciting the season was.

“I believe the season was great, even there was a solid competition in the relegation battle.

“I don’t agree with those claiming our league has fallen, there are still quality players in the scene.”

At the end of the term, only four points separated Hearts and second-placed Kotoko.

Also, only one point separated Kotoko and third-placed Wafa, and the latter and fourth-positioned Aduana Stars. Again, interestingly, there was only one point difference between Aduana and fifth-placed Medeama.

At the bottom end of the table, Inter Allies, Liberty Professionals and Ebusua Dwarfs suffered relegation, the latter just falling behind King Faisal Babes and Elmina Sharks, who only kept their Premier League status due to a superior goal difference.

“This season has been competitive. We enjoyed a great season, and we hope it continue in subsequent league seasons,” Sumaila added.

“Should the standard of our league continue to improve it will help lift the name of Ghana to the world.

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“I have followed the league always, even while playing abroad I still monitor our league.

“This particularly season, I have been able to monitor it well because I have been in the country for some time now and I believe the entire 18 teams have given a good account of themselves.”

For winning the Premier League, Hearts have been rewarded with a ticket to represent Ghana in the Caf Champions League last season.