The 21st Edition of the Africa Cup for Club Championship (ACCC) is set to push-off in the cosmopolitan Nigerian capital of Abuja on Thursday 16 October 2008.
The competition which is one of the key annual activities of the AfHF serves as a platform to identify new playing and officiating talents and to engender competition among member National Associations (NAs). It is also recognized as the flagship event of the Federation and therefore commands a lot of attention and support among NAs.
This year’s competition will be contested by six (6) male clubs and seven (7) female clubs from four of the continent’s hockey powerhouses and will determine the continent’s representative in the newly instituted World Clubs Championship Competition to be held in Barcelona, Spain in January 2009. Conspicuously missing are clubs from South Africa due to a myriad of challenges in relation to the modalities for organizing club activities in that country.
Sharkia Hockey club of Egypt, the most decorated club in the history of African men club competition will seek to maintain their hold on the trophy and write another chapter in their history as the first club to represent Africa in the World Club Championship. Poised to change the status quo are Police Union of Egypt, Exchequers Hockey Club and Golden Sticks both from Ghana, and Yobe Hockey Club and Delta Force Hockey club, both of Nigeria.
In the women’s competition, Heartlands Hockey Club of Nigeria will seek to dominate once more and keep the trophy in Nigeria but will come up against former winners Telkom Orange of Kenya who will seek to reclaim the trophy they have won on a few occasions. Other clubs that will seek to lay their claim to the crown will be two Ghanaian clubs CEPS and Reformers, Blue Eaglets from Kenya and Bayelsa Queens of Nigeria.
The pre-tournament briefing was conducted by the Tournament Director Tarek Mostafa of Egypt. The Nigerian Hockey Federation in conjunction with the African Hockey Federation held a Press Briefing at the Media Centre of the National Hockey Stadium to offer the Nigerian and other international media representatives the opportunity to interact with the organizers. 15 media personnel attended prominent among them being representatives from the global satellite cable television network African Independent Television (AIT), the biggest national television network, the National Television Authourity (NTA), and 2 widely listened-to radio stations. The print media were also present with the Nigerian Tribune, the Daily Times, the Guardian and The Sun being represented at the encounter that was presided over by Nii Quaye-Kumah, the Secretary General of African Hockey.