Deputy sports minister Perry Okudzeto talks of the possible return of Ghana football, government’s stimulus package & Kwesi Appiah’s unpaid salaries

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The Deputy Sports Minister, Perry Okudzeto has opened up on a series of topics relating to the future of Ghana football amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a national ban on all public gatherings as part of the measures adopted the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus, football in Ghana has been suspended since March 16, 2020 and with the number of coronavirus cases continuing to increase, the future of the country’s major league and other leagues remains uncertain.

There have been suggestions that it should be annulled or cancelled, others have suggested that it should be truncated, a section also believe it should continue only when it is safe to do so.

The country’s football federation earlier this month released a press statement to announce that the association hasn’t made a decision yet and it’ll continue to monitor the situation and would revisit it on June 30, 2020.

Speaking on Joy News’ ‘Beyond the Lockdown’, the deputy Sports minister Perry Okudzeto revealed that the FA is open to the idea emulating the German league and then playing behind closed doors.

“It’s important that this is managed in a holistic way. That’s why the President of the Republic [Nana Akufo-Addo] is managing it the way it ought to be so we cannot be in isolation as a sector we have to be sort of be in the mix of what generally is been done to manage the case in Ghana. We would have to get to the point where government decides it’s okay to have public gatherings,” Mr Okudzeto said.

“For a football match or any sporting activity to take place, it’s not only the players, technical team, stadium managers, all kinds of people who will come together to make a football match.

“The option of playing in empty stadia is fine. When we get to that point and we think that it’s the best option for us in terms of making out game safe it will be one of the options we will consider. However, as we speak that decision has not been taken,” he answered.

Perry Okudzeto went on to make another revelation which is a big blow to the GFA. He revealed that the Government did not include sports in it one billion cedis stimulus package for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

“The stimulus package we know is for small scale and medium scale businesses, SMEs. Football or sports is not included in the package as we speak but discussions are on going,” he said on.

Although Perry Okudzeto also added that the Government is considering proposals to support the various sports federations. The earlier revelation is a big blow to the GFA as local clubs continue to pile on the pressure on the federation to come to their rescue financially during this tempestuous times.

The Deputy Sports minister also spoke of Kwesi Appiah’s unpaid salaries. He disclosed that government still owes the erstwhile Black Stars because of some issues that came up before the termination of his contract with the GFA.

“I know that the [Sports] Ministry is in talks with Kwasi Appiah and at the appropriate time, ones the issues are ironed out, he would be paid,” he stated.

However the sports minister refused to speak of the issues.

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