Following a national ban on all public gatherings as part of the measures adopted the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, football in Ghana has been at a standstill.
The country’s football leagues were suspended on 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 and a section also believe it should continue only when it is safe to do so.
The country’s football federation last week 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.
The fate of the country’s football leagues remains up in the air, but speaking in a program organized by Accra-based radio station Happy 98.9 FM and GTV Sports+. The president of the Association Mr. Kurt Okraku hinted at continuing the league when it is safe to do so as he stressed on the repercussions of annulling or truncating the league.
“As we speak, there’s no decision as whether the Ghana Premier League would be canceled or not. We are still in talks.”
“If we are to cancel the league, it will be another trying period for players, clubs, referees and everybody involved in football.”
“I don’t have the exact figures as to how much revenue clubs will lose if the league is canceled. But you don’t expect sponsors to continue sponsoring when there are no football activities”, he said.
“Since 2017, we haven’t played a league and declared a winner, which is a big problem because no sponsor wants to be associated with a product which is consistently inconsistent”
“At the lower leagues, football indirectly contributes a lot to the economy. Also with football, sponsors will not continue to bring their money on board,” Okraku continued.
“The GFA will lose partners, clubs will also lose their deals with partners and sponsors, players may lose either their contracts or endorsements, fans will also lose that excitement they get when they watch the games.
“I share in the pain of club owners at this point in time. Throughout the world when issues like this come up, the issue of salary comes up. Fifa has spoken about the issue.
“At the last Exco [Executive Committee] meeting, we gave ourselves up until the end of June to make a decision. We are considering all scenarios, in our engagements with stakeholders.
“Our medical team led by Dr Adam Baba is working very hard to come up with a document for us to consider”, he added.
Mr. Kurt Okraku might not have provided a definite answer on whether the league season will be annulled, truncated or will continue later, but it evident from his speech that the GFA has no plans of picking either of the first two options, since they come with much bigger consequences than initially presumed.
Ghana has so far recorded 5,408 coronavirus cases, with 514 recoveries and 24 deaths.