The Ghana Premier League has been at a halt since March 15, due to the ban on social gathering by the government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The unforeseen circumstance has kept the future of the major league and other leagues up in the air. Any hopes of seeing football back soon was hampered last month when the president of Ghana, Nana Akuffo Addo announced that the ban on social gathering has been extended to July 31.
Since then, calls for the league to be canceled have gone a notch higher and the president of the GFA, Kurt Okraku has come under intense pressure to declare the current league season nulled.
However, veteran sports journalist Kwabena Yeboah in an interview with Happy FM opposed those claims, he implored that football should restart with the right measures put in place amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We cannot continue to shut our football for long. If all the markets, churches, schools have been allowed to open with some regulations and policies to observe the protocols, then why not football”, he quizzed on Happy 98.9FM.
He also implored that football can be allowed to start with the view that the necessary coronavirus protocols are observed at match centers to curb the spread of the virus.
“There can be spacing done at the various stadia, with people’s temperatures taken before they enter. Clubs can sell some tickets to ensure proper social distancing is observed at the venue. Even in some Ghana Premier League games, the games are played in virtually empty stadia.”
“At the beginning of the pandemic, information was scanty about the virus but now we have come to understand that the virus has come to live with us. For those saying we should cancel the season and wait till August what is the guarantee that the virus will end for it to be safe to play football. If we observe the right protocols we can play our football,” he added.
The veteran sports journalist went on to urge government to support local clubs in this time of inactivity and turbulence.
“If there is any way the government can cushion the financial plight of our clubs by providing some form of financial package to the clubs we will appreciate it. In the past government was sponsoring our clubs in Africa and we are at a crucial stage where clubs really need help.”
“So the government has played a role in supporting our clubs and if the government does not I am afraid some of the clubs may fold up”, he added.
The fate of Ghana football leagues will be decided by June 30, but the sudden decrease in the number of coronavirus cases gives hope that football will soon resume.
Ghana as at 7:50 pm on Saturday, June 20 has recorded 13,717 coronavirus cases, 10,074 recoveries and 85 deaths.