Ghana FA president Okraku: No sponsor wants association with ‘consistently inconsistent’ league 

The football’s governing body chief has spoken about the effects of coronavirus on the nation’s sport

Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kurt Okraku is worried by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the nation’s development plans.

Football, like all other sports, has ground to a halt following a national ban on all public gatherings as part of the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

With Ghana’s Covid-19 case numbers increasing over time, there is uncertainty about the future of the championship. Whereas some want the current campaign cancelled, others want the championship continued when it is safe to do so.

“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,” Okraku said on GTV Sports+ on Wednesday.

“I want to call for calm, we shall take a decision in the interest of everybody. We will communicate our decision if we decide to either cancel or truncate the season.

“As we speak, there’s no decision as to whether the Ghana Premier League would be cancelled or not. We are still in talks.

“I don’t have the exact figures as to how much revenue clubs will lose if the league is cancelled. But you don’t expect sponsors to continue sponsoring when there are no football activities.

“It will be another challenging period for the clubs, referees, match commissioners, if the season is cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

As at the time of suspension of the league, a total of six cases had been recorded.

As at Wednesday, May 13, the West African nation has registered 5,127 cases involving 22 deaths and 494 recoveries.

Globally, over 4,374,914 persons have been infected, and 288,152 lives were lost.

“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.

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“I think our football has gotten to a point where we need to allow science to play a role. It is something that my administration will look into.”

Aduana Stars lead the table as at matchweek 15 when the league was halted.

The 2019-20 championship marked the return of the league after a year’s hiatus due to a bribery and match-fixing scandal which disrupted the 2017-18 season. 

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