The Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah has expressed misgivings about a quick resumption of football in the country, indicating that it would be ‘expensive’ to restart the game after the National Sports Authority (NSA) stated that GH¢60,000 was required per game for a successful resumption.
Speaking at his turn at the COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Mr Asiamah disclosed that the Ministry was in constant touch with various players in the sport industry to ensure the best way forward.
He, however, revealed that constant engagements with stakeholders pointed to the fact that a return was not imminent.
“I have been engaged in several meetings with stakeholders including the NSA to assess if an immediate return was possible, but it would be very expensive to restart.
“We have to ensure massive testing for all players, footing of hotel bills, disinfecting the stadia , adherence to the medical protocols and strict hygienic conditions which the NSA estimates an amount of GH¢60,000 per match. This is expensive to foot.
“In our environment, is it prudent to play football without the crowds? That is a big challenge.”
Mr Asiamah said that in discussions to resume the league, the safety of players and officials was the topmost priority.
The Minister indicated that they were closely monitoring the situation with the ease of restrictions in the first phase and reminded that bans on all contact sports were still in place.
Ghana Football Association (GFA), President Kurt Okraku, speaking on the sidelines at the briefings, noted that a concrete roadmap on whether to resume or cancel the season would be arrived at by the end of the month.
“We have been monitoring the situation closely and by the month’s end we would have a concrete plan on the best way to proceed, “stated the FA capo.
He added that the Ghanaian football economy was frail and small and therefore was unable to return quickly with all the demands at stake to ensure a successful restart.
“For now, our focus is coming up with ideas that would build the reputation and also find creative ways to sell our products to attract the sponsorships we need to grow our game.
“The support we get from FIFA and CAF is clearly insufficient.”
The FA has failed to roll-out a plan for the resumption of the league since it was called off in March due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, failing to meet a CAF deadline in May for its roadmap to restart with CAF extending the deadline to month’s end at the request of the FA.
There has however, been mixed reactions from club administrators regarding the resumption of the league with veteran administrator , King Faisal owner Alhaji Karim Gruzah and Techiman City bankroller Micky Charles calling for its cancellation.
Other Administrators including Bechem United CEO Nana Kwasi Darlington, former Ashantigold CEO Frederick Acheampong and FA president Kurt Okraku have advised against calling the season off, urging that cancellation would be detrimental to the business opportunities clubs and the league was beginning to attract.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO